Clinton: Use Fluorescent Bulbs, Wrap Water Heaters in Blankets

By Matt Purple | July 7, 2008 | 8:23 PM EDT

( - Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) has published a list of 10 ways Americans can "address global warming and increase our energy independence" on her Web site.

These include replacing incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones and wrapping your home's water heater in a blanket. It is not known whether Clinton or her presidential campaign staff practices these apparent energy-saving tips.

"You can save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year by wrapping your water heater in an insulation blanket," according to

Visitors to the Web site are asked to take a pledge to "confront ... global warming and move our country towards energy independence."

The energy-saving advice was posted to coincide with the release of Clinton's new proposed energy policy, which would, among other things, set up a $50 billion strategic energy reserve and phase out the incandescent light bulb.

Other points of advice included turning down the air conditioning, using energy generated by renewable sources like wind and solar power, and simply recycling.

"By recycling half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually," the Web site said.

But some have called into question whether Clinton - whose presidential campaign has spent $40,472,775 as of September and operates multiple private jets - is being consistent with the conservation advice she has dispensed.

Christopher Horner, a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming," said that Clinton was shifting focus to environmental issues because "it tests well."

"For about two decades, we've known that green [environmental] questions reflect very passively held values, very softly held values," he told Cybercast News Service.

"If you list five or 10 concerns and tell people to pick their top, green issues usually show up in the top five. If you give them a blank piece of paper and say the same thing, it doesn't register anywhere," Horner said.

"Because it's not really the people's concern, but they say, oh, well, now that you mention it, [going green] feels good," he added.

The Clintons reportedly own two homes. The first is an 11-room white colonial in Chappaqua, N.Y. with a swimming pool, and an exercise room on the top floor. The second, a brick house near Embassy Row in Washington, D.C., also has a pool, along with a den, and seven-and-a-half bathrooms.

Additionally, according to the New York Post, Clinton once traveled in three different private jets in a single day in May - a Gulfstream II, a Gulfstream III, and a Hawker 800. A Gulfstream III jet emits 10,078 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air per hour while a Hawker 800 measures up at 4,149 pounds per hour, according to estimates by TerraPass.

By comparison, the average American generates approximately 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.

"There are two ways to look at this," Horner said. "I choose the simplest one and the one that is probably less denigrating to the occupant of the plane: They don't believe what they say."

The other option was that Clinton was a "raging hypocrite," he added.

But Kathleen Rogers, president of the Earth Day Network, told Cybercast News Service that Clinton's proposed energy plan and the fact that she was bringing green issues to the political forefront was more important than her personal lifestyle.

"I would love to answer, yes, she's a total hypocrite. But I guess I really don't feel that way," Rogers said.

"Do I admire candidates who live [the green lifestyle]? Absolutely," she said. "But right now, the biggest thing [Clinton] has to do is come out with a radical new plan that works, that economists can get behind even if it's a hill to climb - and I want to see more, bolder, more creative, more inspiring stuff out of her. And I think we will."

Repeated telephone calls to the Clinton campaign for comment on this story were not returned.

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