Climate change finally came up in a presidential debate. But, when it did, it was after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said we have to use our fossil fuel resources.
“We need more than wind and solar,” Trump said during Sunday’s debate, in response to the lone energy question. “And look at the miners. Hillary Clinton wants to put the miners out of business,” he said, in his customary train-of-thought manner. “There is a thing call clean coal. Coal will last for a thousand years in this country.”
In fact, attempts to achieve clean coal have mostly met with failure, including a billion-dollar boondoggle in Mississippi. It has also been widely criticized by climate and environmental activists, who say it will be catastrophic to embrace coal in any way. Clean coal is part of the official Republican platform this year.
“I will bring our energy companies back and they will be able to compete and make money and pay off our national debt and budget deficits that are tremendous,” Trump said. “Now we have natural gas and so many other things… we have found in the last seven years, we have found tremendous wealth under our feet.”
“Well, that was very interesting,” Hillary Clinton said during the response. She pointed out that climate change “is a serious problem” and added that investing in renewable energy presents a huge opportunity for the country.
She also defended her position on coal communities, where she has proposed millions in infrastructure investment, including providing access to high speed internet.
“I want to be sure that we don’t leave people behind,” Clinton said. “Those coal miners and their fathers and their grandfathers… they turned the lights on and they powered our factories.”