Thursday, July 28, 2016

Meet Hillary Clinton's Climate Change Champion

Gene Karpinski (left with microphone), president of the League of Conversation Voters, speaks during a gathering in front of the White House to celebrate President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline last year. (Photo Credit: AP Images.) Click to Enlarge.
With wooly white sideburns accounting for much of his hair, Karpinski is still working on environmental issues in his 11th year as president of the League of Conservation Voters.  Today, he'll achieve a new goal by speaking at the Democratic National Convention about climate change.

"It's an honor, and it's an important conversation to have," Karpinski said in one of several conversations with ClimateWire this week.  He plans to use his speech to underscore Donald Trump's assertion that global warming is a "hoax."

In some ways, Karpinski's selection by the Clinton campaign is almost automatic.  Under his leadership, the LCV Action Fund made its earliest presidential endorsement ever, in November 2015, before a single primary vote had been cast.  That decision gave Clinton credibility on climate change as she faced Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, both of whom were promoting more aggressive policies than Clinton to reduce greenhouse gases.

So it was met with disbelief when Karpinski justified the endorsement by saying Clinton is the best candidate to challenge Trump.  A Sanders spokesman, Michael Briggs, said at the time that LCV's decision was made "on something other than merit."  To make his point, he compared Sanders' lifetime LCV score with Clinton's -- 95 to 82, respectively.

Karpinski's assertions might be vindicated in the eyes of his supporters later tonight when Clinton officially accepts the Democratic nomination.  That he'll appear on the same stage, on the same day, isn't a coincidence.  LCV officials didn't stand idly by; they made it happen.

Read more at Meet Hillary Clinton's Climate Change Champion

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