Clinton declares war on fossil fuels

US Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has pledged to have more than half a billion solar panels installed nationwide within four years of taking office, as part of a push to shift the US energy generating capacity to solar and wind.

Haydn Black

Clinton wants to see enough clean renewable energy to power every US home by 2027 – 10 years after she would hypothetically take office, and two years after any second term would end.

The former Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, New York Senator, lawyer and wife of former president Bill Clinton told a rally in the key state of Iowa at the weekend that she wants to see “more wind, more solar, more advanced bio-fuels, more energy efficiency.”

Installing 500 million solar panels, which would require extending federal clean energy tax incentives and making panels more cost effective, would lead to a 700% increase in the nation's installed solar capacity from current levels, and eventually could generate at least one-third of all electricity from renewable sources

Clinton said she would release be a comprehensive climate change agenda released over the next few months, including how the reforms could be paid for.

She is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, and her only other serious rival, senator Bernie Sanders, has also called for swift action on climate change.

Clinton has pledged to continue the wind production tax credit and recalibrate other tax incentives she said are too heavily weighted toward fossil fuels.

She will fight efforts to roll back president Barack Obama's executive actions to curb carbon emissions from power plants and increase the number of government grants for clean energy, extending federal clean energy tax incentives and expanding renewable energy on public lands.

Presumably subsidies for fossil fuels of all types could also be rolled back.

In a video posted to her campaign website, Clinton knocked Republicans for refusing "to accept the settled science of climate change" and cast her push as a fight for children and grandchildren.

She directly criticised Republicans who are reluctant to admit that climate change is a man-made phenomenon, including her Republican rivals Jeb Bush and Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

"I am just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain and I know what is happening in the world is going to have a big effect on my daughter and especially my granddaughters," Clinton said.

"You don't have to be a scientist to take on this urgent challenge that threatens us all. You just have to be willing to act."

Over 85% of all US energy consumption came from fossil fuels.

Clinton did say that no government would even consider banning fossil fuel extraction until viable alternatives are in place.