Hillary Clinton's position on fracking has remained throughout the campaign, but newly leaked emails suggest that the likely democratic nominee once tried to export the controversial process internationally.
Recently obtained emails from the State Department suggest that when Clinton was secretary of state, she and her aides tried to "export American-style hydraulic fracturing to countries all over the world," The Intercept reports.
Hydraulic fracturing is a method of natural gas extraction that involves pumping millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals deep underground to break up rock formations and release small pockets of gas that are trapped in the rock. Chemicals are injected at high pressure that causes a split or fracture in the rock, the chemicals can remain underground and seep into the ground water. The ground water contamination is what has made fracking into a national controversy.
But the emails might say otherwise. According to The Intercept, the leaked emails show that State Department officials had been closely working with private sector oil and gas companies.
The Intercept reported that these emails showed a willingness to work with fossil fuel companies, as Clinton's department "pressed other agencies within the Obama administration to commit federal government resources, including technical assistance for locating shale reserves, and distributed agreements with partner nations pledging to help secure investments for new fracking projects."
The reason for this international effort was that the State Department sought to reduce coal use in foreign countries in China, India, and Europe, the report claims.
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Publicly, Clinton's comments on the process have been more vague. At a March Democratic debate, Clinton said "I don't support it…when any locality or any state is against it…" Clinton has also stated that "one of the bridge fuels is natural gas."
Overall, Clinton's private emails have put her in hot water lately, and the pressure could intensify now that an infamous Romanian hacker is finalizing a plea deal with the US government. The hacker, who goes by the name "Guccifer" has claimed he repeatedly breached Hillary Clinton's personal email server in 2013 saying it was "easy." Clinton's camp denies the breach.
Fox News reported that it was not "publicly known whether the deal being worked out has a provision for cooperating with federal authorities – and whether that has anything to do with the investigation into Clinton's exclusive use of a private email server for government business while secretary of state." But the report said that a source close to the FBI probe claimed that if the hacker pleads guilty to "compromising Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal's AOL account – which is one of the nine charges – it will show that Clinton's use of a personal server put sensitive information outside secure government channels and made it accessible to foreign hackers."