[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksIXqxpQNt0]Senator Heidi Heitkamp has been an on-the-record endorser of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President since 2013, but in recent weeks Clinton’s extreme views on energy policy might make some wonder why Heitkamp made the endorsement.
After all on energy policy Heitkamp largely sides with Republicans, but Clinton has taken a sharp left turn as she seeks the presidential nomination from Democrats nationally.
Clinton wants to effectively ban fracking.
Clinton supports a moratorium for oil and coal development on federal lands.
Clinton has promised to keep in place President Obama’s obstruction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which in addition to stopping that project has also inspired obstruction of other pipeline projects important to North Dakota like the Sandpiper and Dakota Access pipelines.
Now Clinton is talking about all the damage she’s going to do to the coal industry. Albeit in the context of the government assistance she wants to offer to displaced coal workers, which probably comes as little comfort to those workers whose jobs are on the line. Not to mention the rest of us who would pay much, much higher utility bills:
“I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country, because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right, Tim? and we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people,” Clinton said.
“Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories. Now we’ve got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don’t want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we relied on.”
I think politicians should be held accountable for those they endorse.
If Rep. Kevin Cramer is worthy of criticism for flirting with an endorsement of Donald Trump, then Senator Heitkamp is worth of criticism for endorsing a candidate like Clinton whose policies would be devastating for North Dakota.
What’s all the more ironic is that if Heitkamp doesn’t campaign like a Republican on energy issues in 2012, when she won a very narrow election over Republican Rick Berg, she’s not a U.S. Senator right now. And yet here she is in 2016 working to elect a President who opposes her on those very issues.