We Worked with Hillary Clinton. Here’s How We Know She’s Committed to Fighting Climate Change

By Lisa P. Jackson and Carol Browner

As two former Environmental Protection Agency administrators, we believe that climate change is one of the defining challenges we face as a country.

It deserves a serious debate.

Recently, the world gathered at the Paris climate conference — a historic achievement where 195 nations agreed to start taking action to combat climate change. It was a testament to President Obama’s leadership, and a critical step forward.

It’s about time, because 2015 was the hottest year on record.

Fortunately, we don’t need to wait for Congress to act — because a president can make a huge impact using the laws we already have.

We learned that lesson in our work at the EPA and the White House throughout two administrations. Whether it was tightening ozone standards back in the 1990s to improve the air our kids breathe, supporting clean energy investments in the Recovery Act, or instituting historic fuel efficiency standards that will nearly double how far our cars can go on a gallon of gas, we’ve proven that changes large and small can add up to a major difference.

Through it all, Hillary Clinton was right there with us.

Over the years, the two of us have seen first-hand that Hillary has more than a plan to fight climate change. She has a vision that would make America the global leader in tackling this crisis, as well as the world’s 21st-century clean energy superpower.

We saw a First Lady who drew attention to the link between air pollution and children’s asthma.

We saw a senator who worked to extend tax credits for clean energy, got the Pentagon to address climate risks in their strategic planning, and protected the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling in a bipartisan coalition.

We saw a secretary of state who launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, and who appointed the first Special Envoy for Climate Change to make the issue a top priority in U.S. diplomacy. Hillary also helped lay the groundwork for the Paris deal way back in Copenhagen in 2009 — even crashing a secret meeting of leaders from China, India, and Brazil.

And today, in Hillary, we see a presidential candidate with the most impressive and progressive agenda for tackling climate change. Here’s where she stands on the key issues:

  • Clinton opposes offshore drilling in the Arctic.
  • As president, she will set a goal to have more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of her first term.
  • She will defend and improve President Obama’s historic Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from our nation’s power plants.
  • She will build on the Obama plan with her own Clean Energy Challenge, to help cities, states, and rural communities invest more in clean energy and energy efficiency.
  • As a result, within 10 years of Clinton taking office, we will generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America.
  • She opposed Keystone XL because she doesn’t believe we should be building a pipeline to transport North America’s dirtiest fuel through the heartland.
  • And Clinton will modernize our energy infrastructure by improving existing pipeline and railway safety, enhancing security from cyberattacks, and using wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal sources to add more clean power to our grid.
  • She would establish a national infrastructure bank to leverage public and private capital and accelerate investment into the most critical large scale energy projects.
  • As president, she will make sure taxpayers get their fair share for energy production on public lands, and see through President Obama’s recent evaluation of the coal leasing program. (And she has a plan to invest in communities and make sure we don’t leave coal miners and their families behind.)
  • And of course, she will hold up America’s commitments in the Paris Climate Agreement and continue to engage the international community on global efforts to reduce carbon pollution and keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

We’ve both known Hillary long enough to know this is just the beginning. She asks tough and pointed questions — one of which is always, “What more can we be doing?”

Hillary’s lifelong fight to protect our environment is why the League of Conservation Voters has endorsed her. And it’s why the two of us are proud to call her not just a friend, but one of the best allies we’ve ever had at our side.


Lisa P. Jackson served as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 to 2013. Carol Browner served as director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy from 2009 to 2011 and as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 1993 to 2001.