From The Hill

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has a new line of attack against Hillary Clinton tailor-made for New York voters: that she is too soft on hydraulic fracturing.

Sanders has taken a firmer line against the drilling practice than the Democratic front-runner, calling for it to be banned nationwide.

He highlighted his fracking stance in an ad released this week, putting the issue front and center as he seeks to make up ground ahead of the crucial New York primary next week, which will award 247 delegates.

Green advocates say the anti-fracking message could resonate in the state, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has banned fracking and polls show most voters oppose the practice.

“There’s a significant infrastructure of people [in New York] that care about the environment, that understand hydraulic fracturing is extremely bad for the planet,” said Tara Houska, the national campaign director of Honor the Earth and a national adviser to the Sanders campaign on Native American affairs.

Environmentalists warn that fracking techniques, which involve injecting chemcial mixtures into rock at high pressures to release oil and gas reserves, can damage drinking water supplies and contribute to global warming by allowing more fossil fuel extraction.

Clinton, a former senator from New York, has taken a nuanced approach to fracking, calling for more regulations on the industry. She supports local control over individual fracking projects, including Cuomo’s 2014 ban.

Clinton “believes we need to make sure America becomes the world’s clean energy superpower, creating new jobs and industries while reducing carbon pollution and fighting climate change,” the Clinton
campaign said in a statement to The Hill. “She supports New York’s ban on fracking and will stand with any community or state that decides they don’t want to allow fracking in their backyards.”

Sanders has been more unequivocal. At a March debate, he said, “No, I do not support fracking,” and he has attacked Clinton as promoting the growth of fracking as secretary of State.

The Sanders campaign has also highlighted oil industry donations to Clinton to question her commitment to environmental issues.

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