What do you think about Hillary Clinton's climate plan?

Hillary Clinton just came out with her climate change plan. Here it is.

Hillary Clinton’s Vision for Modernizing North American Energy Infrastructure

Flipping a light switch, adjusting the thermostat, or turning a car key in the ignition brings predictable results—the light goes on, the temperature changes, the car starts. But where the energy for those everyday tasks comes from has changed dramatically in recent years, due to massive gains in renewable energy and a boom in domestic oil and gas production. And the amount of energy required to perform those tasks has fallen thanks to historic advances in efficiency.

Our policies and infrastructure have not kept pace with recent changes to the American energy system. American communities have endured toxic pipeline spills and deadly rail explosions as the amount of oil produced and transported across the country has expanded. Our existing natural gas distribution network is increasingly antiquated and in need of repair, while new networks must be built to serve parts of the country still dependent on more polluting propane and fuel oil for heating and cooking.

Our electrical grid needs upgrading to harness new technology that reduces energy costs and increases consumer choice, and to address the growing threat of cyberattack. And we must invest in the new infrastructure that will make the transition to a clean energy economy possible, keep energy affordable and reliable, meet both base load and peak demand, protect the health of our families and our climate, and drive job creation and innovation.

This work starts at home, but we can’t do it alone. The United States is part of a deeply integrated North American energy market, with interconnected pipeline and electricity systems and a shared market for vehicles and clean energy technologies. We trade as much energy with Canada and Mexico each year as with the rest of the world combined. As we invest in modernizing the United States’ energy infrastructure, we need to do so as part of a continent-wide strategy that ensures safe, reliable and affordable energy delivery, unlocks economic opportunity for American businesses and workers, and accelerates the transition to a clean energy economy across the North American continent.

Hillary Clinton’s North American energy infrastructure plan will do this in several key ways.


The United States has more than two million miles of oil and gas pipelines, many of which are outdated and in need of repair or replacement. This increases the risk of oil spills, methane leaks that help drive climate change, and dangerous explosions. A 20-fold increase in the amount of oil shipped by rail over the past five years has led to devastating accidents. Our electric grid too often fails during extreme weather events – and is increasingly vulnerable to cyberattack. These challenges extend beyond our borders to Canada and Mexico, and will be most effectively tackled if all three countries work together.

To address these issues Hillary Clinton will:

Modernize our Pipeline System

  • Repair or replace thousands of miles of outdated pipelines to improve safety and reduce methane leaks by the end of her first term in office.
  • Improve pipeline regulations, including instituting automatic or remote-controlled shut-off valves and leak detection standards that have been recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board.
  • Work to close the loophole that allows companies to ship oil sands crude without paying into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

Increase Rail Safety

  • Accelerate the phase-out of outdated tank cars that create the greatest safety risk and make information on companies’ progress available to the general public. Ensure rail regulations are strengthened and enforced within the United States and across the U.S.-Canada border.
  • Instruct the Department of Transportation to guarantee that first responders and the public have better information on oil and hazardous materials passing through their communities.
  • Partner with rail companies in aggressively repairing track defects that cause derailments and evaluate whether shale oil presents unique explosion risks.

Enhance Grid Security

  • Create a Presidential Threat Assessment and Response Team to improve coordination across federal agencies and strengthen collaboration with state and local officials and the electric power industry in assessing and addressing cybersecurity threats.
  • Implement a cybersecurity strategy that integrates and protects the expanded use of distributed energy resources and other cutting-edge clean energy technologies.
  • Provide new tools and resources to states, cities and rural communities to make the investments necessary to improve grid resilience to both cyber-attack and extreme weather events.


From the Tennessee Valley Authority to the Hoover Dam to the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System, when the United States invests in building, upgrading, and improving our national infrastructure, we create good jobs and careers, boost economic competitiveness, and give rise to entirely new industries. Clinton will galvanize the investment needed to help cities, states, and rural communities upgrade and repair existing energy infrastructure and build the new infrastructure we will need for a clean energy future through:

  • A National Infrastructure Bank: Establish a National Infrastructure Bank to leverage public and private capital to invest in critically important infrastructure projects, including energy infrastructure projects.
  • Challenge Grants: Award competitive grants through Clinton’s Clean Energy Challenge to states, cities and rural communities that take the lead in reducing carbon pollution by investing in renewable energy, nuclear power and carbon capture and sequestration, and reducing energy costs by investing in efficiency in both new and existing buildings.
  • Accelerating Investment: Ensure the federal government is a partner in getting clean and affordable energy to market by making the infrastructure review and permitting process more efficient and effective.
  • Expanding Consumer Choice: Offer financing tools for grid investments that support the integration of distributed energy resources and for gas pipeline investments that enable households and businesses to switch away from heating oil and other petroleum products.
  • A New “Pipeline Partnership”: Help cities, states, and rural communities repair and replace thousands of miles of pipelines by leveraging big data, predictive analytics and innovative testing procedures to more quickly and effectively find and fix pipeline leaks through a public-private partnership between federal regulators, pipeline companies, local utility commissions and leading technology providers and research institutions.
  • Transportation Funding: Work with Congress to close corporate tax loopholes and increase investment in transportation solutions that expand transit access and reduce commute times, oil consumption, and pollution.
  • Innovation: Increase public investment in clean energy R&D, including in storage technology, designed materials, advanced nuclear, and carbon capture and sequestration. Expand successful innovation initiatives, like ARPA-e, and cut those that fail to deliver results.


The United States isn’t in this alone. The entire North American continent must accelerate the clean energy transition and develop more comprehensive approaches to cutting carbon pollution. As President, Clinton will immediately launch negotiations with the leaders of Canada and Mexico to secure a North American Climate Compact that includes ambitious national targets, coordinated policy approaches, and strong accountability measures to catalyze clean energy deployment, reduce energy costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions, guide infrastructure investment, and make our integrated energy and vehicle markets cleaner and more efficient. This will include:

  • Ambitious Targets: Drive greater ambition in the global fight against climate change through coordinated targets for clean energy and cutting carbon pollution, internationally recognized reporting mechanisms, and a binding review process.
  • Clean Power Markets: Build on the momentum created by the Clean Power Plan, which sets the first national limits on carbon pollution from the energy sector, and regional emissions trading schemes in Canada, Mexico, and the United States to drive low carbon power generation across the continent, modernize our interconnected electrical grid, and ensure that national carbon policies take advantage of integrated markets.
  • Clean Transportation: Work to harmonize vehicle efficiency, emissions and fuel standards, strategies for electric vehicle deployment, clean freight and logistics, and other low-carbon transportation solutions.
  • Methane Management: Establish continent-wide methane emissions reduction targets and coordinated strategies for reducing leaks from both new and existing sources.

    Infrastructure Standards: Develop common, world-class standards for North American infrastructure that create good jobs and careers, support prevailing wage and project labor agreements, and ensure energy transportation across the continent is clean, safe, reliable and affordable.

Clinton’s vision for modernizing North American energy infrastructure is one pillar of her comprehensive energy and climate agenda, which includes major initiatives in the following areas:

  • Clean Energy Challenge: Develop, defend and implement smart federal energy and climate standards. Provide states, cities and rural communities ready to lead on clean energy and exceed these standards with the flexibility, tools and resources they need to succeed.
  • Energy and Climate Security: Reduce the amount of oil consumed in the United States and around the world, guard against energy supply disruptions, and make our communities, our infrastructure, and our financial markets more resilient to risks posed by climate change.
  • Safe and Responsible Production: Ensure that fossil fuel production taking place today is safe and responsible, that taxpayers get a fair deal for development on public lands, and that areas that are too sensitive for energy production are taken off the table.
  • Revitalizing Coal Communities: Protect the health and retirement security of coalfield workers and their families and provide economic opportunities for those that kept the lights on and factories running for more than a century.
  • Collaborative Stewardship: Renew our shared commitment to the conservation of our disappearing lands, waters, and wildlife, to the preservation of our history and culture, and to expanding access to the outdoors for all Americans.



More like this

As a blogger, I usually willfully delineate a giant chasm of non-communication between myself and political issues, preferring to dabble in the absolute: time, space, theoretical technological infrastructures, and, recently, aliens. I wrote one very reticent entry in 2005 about chimeric research,…
We still aren't going to get a presidential debate devoted to science. So far, though,we have the Democratic nominee's elaborated responses to 14 questions put to him and his Republican counterpart by the Science Debate 2008 group. Here's two of Barack Obama's responses, with italicized annotation…
This is a guest posts by Claire Cohen Cortright. Claire Cohen Cortright is a mother, climate activist, and biology teacher living in upstate New York. She is an active member of Citizens Climate Lobby and moderator at Global Warming Fact of the Day. ______________________________________________…
On 6 June 2008, the Federal Register in the USA href="http://www.thefederalregister.com/d.p/2008-06-06-E8-12671">contained a notice, that the Department of Homeland Security is conducting a review.  They are reviewing the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP). The Federation of…

Looks like a plan to make existing energy companies very happy. Where's the part about combination of energy resources and a phase-out, to the maximum extent possible, of polluting energy supplies and their replacement with solar, nuclear, and wind? Where are serious tax incentives to install solar panels on every single house in the country and regulation to prevent the existing power companies from penalizing those who install them. This policy proposal is lukewarm at best.


By David Jones (not verified) on 23 Sep 2015 #permalink

Global Warming Is: A “Communist Red Movement” – Anti-American, Anti-Freedom, Anti-Capitalist."

By Not_Man_Made (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

Being against Global Warming Mitigation Is: A “Fascist Red Brigade Movement” – Anti-American, Anti-Freedom, Anti-Capitalist.”

Because allowing the destruction to our economy that will result from not taking action to mitigate global warming is just chasing short-term pennies to lose massive amounts of dollars later. That is distinctly Anti-Capitalist.

Blocking the ability of government to act to prevent such destruction to America's economic interests is similarly Anti-Freedom.

And those who speak out against mitigation and spread denial about AGW are therefore Anti-American.

AGW: Wishing it were not so does not make it "go away". Blocking action to mitigate it does not make your wishes come true. Denying it in print will not block action on it.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 24 Sep 2015 #permalink

It's interesting that this 'plan' has gotten almost no publicity in major media. IMHO, it is a pretty ho-hum sort of paper, but her publicist must be taking a nap.


By David Jones (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink


"By the end of the century, the Earth’s climate is likely to be substantially warmer and different from today’s. A large body of scientific evidence indicates that climate change is mostly being driven by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2) from generating power."
Source: Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, a department within the MOD. (UK Ministry of Defence)

"Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating. These changes, coupled with other global dynamics, including growing, urbanizing, more affluent populations, and substantial economic growth in India, China, Brazil, and other nations, will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure. Climate change may exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs. The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world. These effects are threat multipliers that will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions – conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence."
Source: United States Department of Defense

"Projected climate change is a complex multi-decade challenge. Without action to build resilience, it will increase security risks over much of the planet. It will not only increase threats to developing nations in resource-challenged parts of the world, but it will also test the security of nations with robust capability, including significant elements of our National Power here at home."
Source: CNA Military Advisory Board May 2014
National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change

"Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe.
In our defense strategy, we refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today – from infectious disease to terrorism. We are already beginning to see some of these impacts."
Department of Defense

Participants in the “Communist Red Movement” include prominent capitalists and some of the world's largest corporations.

"Thirteen of America's best-known companies -- including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Walmart and Bank of America -- have pledged $140 billion toward efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The companies on Monday helped launch the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, part of an Obama administration effort to enlist private companies in the fight to slow climate change...
Other companies signing the pledge are Alcoa, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Cargill, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Pepsico and UPS."

It shouldn't be necessary to state the obvious regarding Not_Man_Made's knowledge and intelligence.

By cosmicomics (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

Re. HC's plan:

It would be interesting to know how different it is from the Democratic Senator's plan.

I'll limit myself to three things:

I was happy to see that her plan includes working together with Canada and Mexico, and implicitly recognizes the importance of international collaboration. Also, an energy system based to a large extent on intermittent renewable sources gains from being able to draw on different locations.

It was good that her plan includes "Revitalizing Coal Communities." Any realistic climate plan will be eliminating their previous source of sustenance, and they should be given the help they need.

What I'm not too happy about is this:

"Offer financing tools for grid investments that support the integration of distributed energy resources and for gas pipeline investments that enable households and businesses to switch away from heating oil and other petroleum products."

Gas is a CO2 and methane emitting fossil fuel. A pipeline built today is an infrastructural commitment many years into the future. To the extent that the new pipelines are intended to carry fracked gas, I'm not convinced that the long-term supply can warrant a significant expansion of gas pipelines.

Along the same lines, her plan mentions nuclear, which has had a negative learning curve, and CCS, which isn't feasible on a large scale.

By cosmicomics (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink

Democratic Senators' plan.

By cosmicomics (not verified) on 25 Sep 2015 #permalink


"Global Warming Is: A “Communist Red Movement” – Anti-American, Anti-Freedom, Anti-Capitalist.”

Bzzt. Wrong. Global Warming is a scientifically observed phenomenon whereby greenhouse gas emissions from human activities have caused and are causing planetary temperatures to increase due to the known physics of gas molecule -solar radiation interactivity.

The USA, communism and capitalism are essentially irrelevant to this reality these being political -economic ideologies and a nation respectively.

I don't suppose you happen to have any evidence or logic to back up your seeming drive by trolling here do you?

^ Also, I very much doubt our troll @2 could even define those terms he used accurately. Happy for him (presumably) to attempt to prove me wrong but.

As for Hillary Clinton's plan here, well, I expect and hope she'll improve on it when she (most probably) gets into office. As that stands and reads, I am underwhelmed and disappointed, thought she'd do better than that.