Why Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton argued over the fossil fuel lobby

The verbal crossfire between the two Democratic candidates: Bernie Sanders accused his rival Hillary Clinton of accepting money from the fossil fuel industry.

In Purchase, US town just a few kilometres from New York City, Hillary Clinton carried out yet another electoral speech for the primaries. As she left the stage, a young Greenpeace activist asked her: “Thank you for tackling climate change. Will you act on your words and reject future fossil fuel money in your campaign?”

The Democratic candidate, usually calm and particularly attentive to US public life code, appeared noticeably upset: “I’m so sick. I’m so sick of the Sanders’ campaign lying about me. I’m sick of it”.

333,000 dollars from the energy lobby

The entourage of the Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders accused the former Secretary of State, telling she’s on the payroll of oil lobbyists. While the Greenpeace activist claimed she had nothing to do with Sanders’ campaign, Clinton said that the news was inconsistent and unfounded.


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Bernie Sanders during a speech in the Bronx ©Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images


Two US newspapers, the Washington Post and the New York Times, “judged” the facts after analysing Sanders’ accusations, concluding what follows: yes, Hillary Clinton received money from private donors linked to fossil fuels, but only 333,000 dollars, i.e. 2 per cent of the total donations of the campaign. Moreover, Sanders as well received 54,000 dollars. Sanders added that the gas and oil lobby funds Super PACs (independent-expenditure only committees), which – in turn – support Clinton.

New York’s primary to be held on 19 April

According to the news agency AFP, alongside the debate on the influence of the energy lobby, this event points out Hillary Clinton’s increasing frustration. Leading the way in terms of number of delegates, Clinton would like to unify the Democratic camp to focus its attacks on Donald Trump.


Hillary Clinton primarie Usa
Bernie Sanders accused Hillary Clinton of accepting money from the oil lobby for her campaign © Joe Raedle/Getty Images


Sanders, on the other hand, doesn’t stop blaming her: according to him, his rival is too close to Wall Street, has changed her mind on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and has voted in favour of the Iraq war. On 19 April, thus, New York’s primary will be decisive. Polls suggest Clinton is ahead (54 per cent to 42 per cent), but Sanders seems to get nearer. Last week, he managed to gather 18,000 people in the Bronx, willing to listen to his proposal of “democratic socialism”.


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