July 23rd, 2007
10:57 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton: Energy crisis could be turned into a win-win

(CNN) - In response to a question about whether nuclear power plants are something the U.S. should consider for the future, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, said, "this issue of energy and global warming has the promise of creating millions of new jobs in America."

Clinton continued by saying that "it can be a win-win, if we do it right."

But she agreed with former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, who, in his response, said there is currently no solution to the waste and cost associated with nuclear power. Clinton said this was an area that can be explored and solved through new technology.

Edwards, however, disagreed, saying these problems were too hard to overcome and that he would not support creating nuclear energy plants.

"Wind, solar, cellulose-based biofuels are the way we need to go," Edwards said. "I do not favor nuclear power. We haven't built a nuclear power plant in decades in this country. There is a reason for that."

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said he'd be open to nuclear solutions.

"I actually think that we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix," Obama said. Shortly after that, he criticized what he said was Vice President Dick Cheney's way of creating an energy plan.

"He met with environmental groups once," Obama said. "He met with renewable energy folks once. And then he met with oil and gas companies 40 times. And that's how they put together our energy policy. We've got to put the national interests ahead of special interests."

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Edrie, Arlington VA

    Of course Senator Obama supports nuclear energy. One of his largest source of contributions is Exelon, the largest nuclear producer of nuclear power in this country. His Senate campaign received over $70,000 from Exelon; Exelon and its subsidiaries' executives and employees contributed to Obama's PAC and have given almost $170,000 to his presidential campaign.

    He has a significant interest in supporting nuclear power.

    July 23, 2007 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  2. Aidyn, NY, NY

    If this country lets Hillary lead it will be a win-win situation.

    July 23, 2007 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  3. Gary, Boston MA

    I wonder who else has an oil tanker named after themselves? No, I'm not talking about Condy Rice. I mean on the Democratic side. If I hear one more candidate blather about using corn/grain crops for biofuel, they'll go right off my vote list. Smoke and mirrors and spin. Biofuel from corn/grain is unsustainable and cannot meet the need of the nation. It is simply another outlet to funnel funds to the farm lobby. It will increase the cost of food. Further increase 'dead zones' in the Gulf of Mexico due to massive fertilizer runoff, and make more than a few politician's noses turn brown.

    July 24, 2007 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  4. Chickie, Le Claire Iowa

    I want clean energy. Nuclear is not clean to me. This week Japan had an earthquake and nuclear waste went into the ocean. It's just not safe. I realize the lobbiest for the nuclear energy companies want nuclear but can't we think of our families health and welfare for once.

    July 24, 2007 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  5. Alan Tufft, Stockton, California

    Wake up voters, this crucial question shows how entrenched both Clinton and Obama are to energy interests–nuclear and coal gasificationm, which both support. Obviously, Edwards was the better informed one here, Hillary there is no foreseeable technology to eliminate the dangers of nuclear waste. Please do your homework and skip the cliches! Too bad Richardson, former Energy Secretary, was given a chance to answer this question.

    July 24, 2007 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  6. Monique, Austin, TX

    As a young scientist, I’m always astonished by the progress of technology and the uncovering of scientific knowledge. Clinton is smart not to rule out nuclear power. With time, there is always innovation and revelations.

    I feel that at this moment, the states need to look at countries within the Scandinavian regions that have reduced their energy consumption significantly. An environmental problem is global; it would be irresponsible not to take notes from countries that have made a large progression in the green sector.

    July 24, 2007 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  7. juliet,mountian view,california


    July 24, 2007 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  8. Stephen, Ontario, Canada

    yes – quite sensitive to energy crises – with the exception of Gravel and Kucinich, the others all took private jets. now THAT's the kind of leadership America craves!

    July 24, 2007 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  9. Pedro, Wyckoff, NJ

    A prime example of the mainstream media only covering mainstream candidates. The only candidate who has awaken to the real problem is clearly Dennis Kucinich. He exposed how he's the only one who would stop the dependency on oil. Why no mention here?

    July 24, 2007 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  10. D., Los Angeles, CA

    Nuclear energy is an even worse source of energy. Alternative fuel is supposed to mean a cleaner, replaceable energy source, not something that would result in an even bigger disaster.

    I hope none of our tax money goes to researching that, didn't Russians do that, and after enough number of their cities were evacuated and contaminated they stopped!!?

    July 24, 2007 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  11. Glenn,B'ham,Al

    Nuclear power will have to used!

    July 24, 2007 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  12. Carl K. Johnson, Charlotte North Carolina

    First of all, Clinton did not name the technologies that exist or is being developmented to address the nuclear waste issues and/or costs. Thus, her response in support in nuclear solutions did not have a reasonable basis. Secondly, Obama response was a middle of the road response. He did not show strong support for or against nuclear solutions; rather, he will be open for dialog. How will his willingness to discuss nuclear solutions be any different than Cheney's willingness to meet with environmental and renewable energy groups. Thirdly, both Clinton and Obama need to come up with alternative solutions to the enery crisis in the event that the existing and developing technologies cannot provide efficient and effective solutions to nuclear waste and costs. Finally, Former Senator Edwards is the only candidate to have a concrete position and the content of his position provided a reasonable basis for his opinion. For the environment, "cellulose-based biofuels" would be the stand alone solution and/or in conjunction with a heavily regulated and monitored nuclear solutions, if possible.

    July 24, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Tom Dedham, Mass

    We have not drilled anywhere new for decades because of liberal stonewalling.

    And when we had an alternative such as wind energy in Mass., that fat socialist windbag (good source?) Ted Kennedy was against it because it would have hurt his view down "cape caaaad".

    Limosuine riding, private jet flying liberals who know whats best for us as usual.

    Wind farms are a great alternative to oil, just not in my backyard eh Teddie.

    July 24, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. DJ, Los Angeles

    Sen. Edwards has it right...Sen. Clinton has it wrong.

    First of all...Clinton as usual tries to have it both ways yet again.

    She said that she agreed with John, however still would not rule nuclear energy plant development out?

    So essentially Clinton continues her track record of trying to have it both ways on every issue. She is a con-artist.

    Even on Iraq, she claims to want to pull-out, yet keep 50,000 troops...until WHEN? Forever?

    July 24, 2007 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. David, Gilbert Arizona

    This just shows how little the average voter understands about energy production in this country. Nuclear power puts out ZERO carbon emissions. The fuel rods used to produce energy can also be refurbished, making nuclear energy renewable. Instead, the United States decided to bury the used fuel rods in a mountain for millions of years. That sure makes a lot of sense. By the way, nuclear energy is the cheapest of all power generation.

    Solar power and wind power may be "green" but they are also intermittent and VERY expensive. The materials to make solar power cells are not very green at all either. If you want to pay huge power bills then scrap all your fossil and nuclear fuels and rely solely on solar and wind. You'll have power but no money to buy anything else.

    July 24, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. conserve, Great Lakes

    Bush and Cheney gave us the highest gasoline prices and biggest blackout in U.S. history.
    People want to drill but oil companies don't want their record profits going toward any new efficient, secure or safe refineries.

    July 24, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Tom Dedham, Mass .. there you go again blaming liberals and not Repubs who have had control of both branches of govt until recently.

    Here was the Republican/conservative solution to rising gas prices: 1) let energy companies help write the energy bills; 2) appoint a former oil exec (Exxon CEO) to solve our energy crisis as your White House Council on Environmental Quality chief of staff – who resigns after being caught redacting evidence of global warming in EPA reports; 3) have American taxpayers pay for oil subsidies when oil corporations were already seeing RECORD profits; 4) don’t build any new refineries; 5) let the gas companies police THEMSELVES and let them shut existing refineries down rather then force big oil to update their equipment to comply with tougher emission standards; and 6) make oil execs appear before congressional committies in a dog and pony show but DON’T make them take any oath!

    No problems with any of THAT eh Tom? You just keep blaming those libs buddy ... most of us know better.

    July 24, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    "...“He met with environmental groups once,” Obama said. “He met with renewable energy folks once. And then he met with oil and gas companies 40 times. And that’s how they put together our energy policy. We’ve got to put the national interests ahead of special interests.”

    To make matters even worse, Cheney still refuses to disclose the names/companies he met with to form the Administration's energy policy.

    That says a lot as to just how corrupt Bush/Cheney really are. It's a matter of public record NOT national security and should be a matter of public record.

    July 24, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Hi Rick from Chicago, nice to hear from you.

    Are you capable of ever commenting on what someone else writes and for the record I am not a Bush fan or an oil company fan?

    Dispute anything that I wrote.

    If the democrats are convinced that price gouging or wrong-doing is going on, lets go after them and nail their asses, I am all for it.

    Use a search engine of your choosing and easily enough you will discover that the oil companies give millions of dollars to BOTH parties including many of your tree hugging, limosuine riding, private jet flying phonies.

    They hedge their bets that way, both parties are in bed with them, I am just making the point that liberals have fought tooth and nail for years anytime exploration or digging is to begin and that helps the oil cabal by not forcing them to produce more.

    Everything I wrote about Kennedy is true and as an add on his nephew Joe runs the citizens energy for oil company that just LOVES Hugo Chavez and though it is a non-profit and it is made to seem that he does it because of the goodness of his heart, he gets a $650,000 salary.

    Beats real work or politics anyday.

    July 24, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Most of the candidate are playing lip service and indeed get money from big oil.

    I personally do not trust Clinton, or Biden on energy policy.

    Obama perhaps is a true "green" candidate. Though his answer regarding nuclear energy, was evasive at best.

    Edwards certainly appears to be a true "green" candidate as does Richardson, Gravel, and Kunich.

    Dodd said he would pass a corporate tax and raise MPG rating to 50 per gallon by 2017.

    July 24, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Actually the oil companies want to drill in ANWR. Oil companies aren't lobbying the left wing liberals to vote against ANWR. If you look at how congress has voted on ANWR drilling you'll find the majority of oil company contributions have gone to politicians, regardless of party, that have voted FOR drilling in ANWR, not against.

    Oil companies make their money by pumping oil out of the ground, not by refining it. More refineries means more overhead for oil companies. This equals less revenues. The reason oil companies are showing record profits is because consumers, regardless of gas prices, refuse to get out of their giant SUV's. This equals more oil pumped out of the ground equalling more money in the pockets of oil companies.

    It is the liberal bunny huggers that don't want oil companies drilling in ANWR. Most of these bunny huggers have never been to Alaska, nor do they understand the demographics of the state. The bunny huggers collectively lobby politicians, typically democrats, to vote against ANWR drilling in exchange for campaign dollars.

    July 24, 2007 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Tom – Dedham, Mass .. my point was that it's a two pronged problem.

    While Lib Dems did indeed fight drilling for new oil, you seem to blame the liberal Dems for the no NEW refineries part – but NOT the conservative repubs for letting dozens of EXISTING ones shut down under their watch.

    They BOTH did their share of contributing to the current problem.

    And I'd even tilt the problem more in the Repub direction based on the things they did that I mentioned in my last post – which YOU can't dispute either.

    Don't be partisan – be BALANCED.

    July 24, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  23. Tom Dedham, Mass

    I am shocked that you would tilt it that way, but that may be the first time I have seen you utter even a slight negative to the liberals, so don't question my "fair and balanced approach" as I always hammer everyone including my own party when justified.

    I pointed out the FACT that we always hear how in bed the Republicans are with big oil and how green the Democrats are, both are simple BS.

    The truth is that Nuke energy, wind farms, ANWAR drilling etc, etc were always never good enough for the liberals.

    Check out what I wrote and see if there is any balance:

    "If the democrats are convinced that price gouging or wrong-doing is going on, lets go after them and nail their asses, I am all for it.

    Use a search engine of your choosing and easily enough you will discover that the oil companies give millions of dollars to BOTH parties including many of your tree hugging, limosuine riding, private jet flying phonies.

    They hedge their bets that way, both parties are in bed with them, I am just making the point that liberals have fought tooth and nail for years anytime exploration or digging is to begin and that helps the oil cabal by not forcing them to produce more."

    See they both suck, but I will stun you that I tilt it the liberals are worse. Shocked dude?

    July 25, 2007 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Tom Dedham, Mass ... It’s one thing to just “not drill” (admittedly thanks to Liberals/Dems) but for the Repubs to have control of legislative and executive branches of govt for 6-7 years in which they did "deals" with the energy companies like having them help write energy bills resulting in THE TAXPAYERS paying subsidies (in addition to record high gas prices) to the same energy companies who were raking in record profits? AND looked the other way as EXISTING refineries were shut down because they didn’t want to make these companies comply?

    Of course people are going to blame the Repubs more than the Dems! They did much more than simply not drill to make the situation worse for everybody except oil execs.

    Everybody knows that Republicans are blatantly pro big business – even more-so than the Dems – and the proof is in the last 7 years.

    Oh ... and am I shocked you would tilt it towards the Liberals/Dems, again, who have NOT been in power to change things until recently?

    Nope. But at least you admit they BOTH suck.

    Kudos for that!

    July 26, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. James, Morristown, NJ

    It frustrates me that, other than Edwards, the Dems have not voiced a firm commitment to the immediate need for alternative sources of energy. Nuclear energy produces waste, it is not even close to being the solution. Clean coal, to me, just sounds like a contradiction. We need to look towards all the renewables and use them all in unison to garnish our energy. NO MORE OIL! The truth is so blatantly clear about global warming. Stop using oil!! Everything is inter-connected: our foreign policy is directly linked to our demand for oil..and this is in turn directly linked to global warming. If we used a combination of solar, natural gas, wind, and biofuels we'd have more than enough to sustain our greedy lifestyles. The infrastructure would hardly take any amount of effort to put into place. The US is the biggest polluter, and highest emitter of CO2 in the world. And yet, we refuse to act..We couldn't even take it upon ourselves to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Significant action should have been taken already in the early 90's..now over a decade has gone by..and nothing has changed. Wake up people, its time.

    August 9, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |