Hillary Clinton pokes fracking monster in conservation speech

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Possible presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has continued to distance herself from the Obama administration with a mild criticism of “fracking”, the process that has attracted the wrath of Americans across the country.

Without climbing too far out on a political limb and alienating both sides, Clinton expressed restrained concern about the fracking boom in a speech to the League of Conservation Voters in New York on Monday.

“I know many of us have serious concerns with the risks associated with the rapidly expanding production of natural gas,” Clinton told the crowd.

“Methane leaks in the production and transportation of natural gas pose a particularly troubling threat so it is crucial we put in place smart regulations and enforce them – including deciding not to drill when the risks to local communities, landscapes and ecosystems are just too high.”

Hillary Clinton has yet to declare she’s running in the 2016 presidential elections, expertly played both sides of the issue by declaring that America has a fracking future, so long as specific environmental standards are adhered to.

“Yes, natural gas can play an important bridge role in the transition to a cleaner, greener economy,” she said.

Clinton managed to steer clear of the $8 billion dollar, 1,179-mile Keystone XL pipeline project that would transport oil from Canada to the US. A controversial bill to approve its construction fell one short of the 60 votes required in the US Senate to send the bill for presidential approval.

Republicans have said they will prioritize pipeline approval when they assume Senate control next year.

Fracking has been linked to groundwater contamination, an increase in earthquakes, extended drought conditions, and a host of health concerns for people and the local environment.

In early November, voters in Denton, Texas approved a ban on fracking while cities in Ohio and California also voted on fracking bans with mixed results. However, local ordinances against fracking run afoul of state laws that allow the process in both Ohio and California. Similar local bans have been passed in states like Colorado, where state officials have worked to overturn them through the legal system.