On Tuesday, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)’s political action fund endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. It is the group’s first presidential endorsement.
NRDC Action Fund President Rhea Suh – a former Obama Interior Department employee – lavished praise on Clinton, calling her “an environmental champion.”
Although the NRDC Action Fund played up the unprecedented nature of the endorsement, it really comes as no surprise. The NRDC Action Fund’s GiveGreen program has been directing small donors to Clinton since January, and the NRDC’s Chief Communications Officer is married to Clinton’s chief strategist.
What is surprising, though, is this endorsement comes in the middle of Clinton’s dogfight with democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the California primary.
A look at the NRDC’s track record suggests Sanders may be a better fit for the group. Both the NRDC and Sanders opposed the Keystone XL pipeline, while Clinton waffled on the issue for years before coming out against it. Both Suh and Sanders oppose fracking, while Clinton – again – has gone back and forth on the issue.
Regardless, the NRDC’s history of influencing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials suggests they could still find a home in the Clinton White House. In 2015, a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report detailed the “unprecedented access” the NRDC and other environmentalist groups had with Obama EPA officials.
The Washington Times reports:
But the Senate study, relying on emails and other records obtained during an ongoing investigation, makes clear that the EPA and top environmental groups see themselves as deeply intertwined in the push to cut carbon emissions and pursue other pieces of President Obama’s broad, climate change agenda.
Clinton says she is “honored” by the endorsement, but with her energy policy all over the map it is still unclear how much the Environmentalist Left will pull Clinton to more extreme positions on American energy.