In his bid for president, Franklin Roosevelt promised a “chicken in every pot,” and now Hillary Clinton is promising green energy for every home in the country.
Clinton, a Democratic presidential candidate, is moving to the left of her primary opponents by promising to get half a billion solar panels installed, if elected, by the end of her first term in office. That would generate enough green energy to power every home in the country.
“Too many Republicans in this race deny the very existence of this global threat by reminding you that they’re not scientists,” Clinton said in a campaign email. “Well… I may not be a scientist, but I’m a grandmother with two eyes and a brain. That’s all it takes to know that we must immediately address climate change, one of the defining challenges of our time.”
According to her campaign, Clinton’s promise, if kept, would give the U.S. 33 percent of its energy from green sources like wind and solar by 2027. This exceeds a goal set out by Clinton donor and environmentalist Tom Steyer.
Earlier this year, Steyer held a fundraiser for Clinton at his San Francisco home. The former hedge fund manager has used his vast fortune to back environmentalist causes and candidates, including a massive campaign against the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Steyer even issued a statement on Clinton’s announcement.
“Clinton laid out an ambitious framework to put our nation on a path to a clean energy economy that will create millions of jobs—and in the coming months we look forward to hearing more details about her proposals to tackle climate change,” said Steyer, who spent $74 million of his own money in the 2014 election cycle.
Besides donor interest, Clinton has been struggling to earn support of environmental activists who have criticized her for refusing to come out against the Keystone XL pipeline — a project that she sought approval for while she was secretary of state.
Environmentalists welcomed Clinton’s green energy announcement, but some argued she needs to go further in demonstrating her opposition to fossil fuels.
“Hillary Clinton is half the way there. This is a credible commitment to renewable energy, and a recognition that the economics of electricity are changing fast,” Bill McKibben, founder of the eco-group 350.org, said in an emailed statement to reporters.
“Now, we need Clinton to show she understands the other half of the climate change equation — and prove she has the courage to stand up against fossil fuel projects like offshore and Arctic drilling, coal leasing in the Powder River basin, and the Keystone XL pipeline,” he continued.
Clinton has stiff competition when it comes to proving her anti-fossil fuel credentials against Democratic challengers. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. Both signed a pledge earlier this year saying they would not take campaign donations from fossil fuel interests.
O’Malley has even pledged to phase out fossil fuel use by 2050 — a campaign promise he announced the same day Pope Francis released an encyclical bashing countries for using fossil fuels.
“I believe, within 35 years, our country can, and should, be 100% powered by clean energy, supported by millions of new jobs. To reach this goal we must accelerate that transition starting now,” O’Malley wrote in USA Today. “As president, on day one, I would use my executive power to declare the transition to a clean energy future the number one priority of our Federal Government.”