Friday, July 13, 2007

Gore's popularity turns Democratic candidates green with envy

A July 12 Washington Times article reports that Al Gore's refusal to refuse to run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination is causing the declared candidates to scramble over one another to proclaim themselves the greenest. A online forum last weekend suggests that John Edwards has done the best paint job so far:
Former Sen. John Edwards is the greenest presidential candidate, thousands of members decided after listening to the Democrats' plans to combat global warming.

Mr. Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, was the preferred choice of more than a third of the liberal political action committee's members who watched virtual town hall forums giving each Democrat three questions.

Mr. Edwards, the 2004 vice presidential nominee, outlined his plan to "fight global warming and create a new energy economy" and was the preferred candidate of 33 percent of the more than 100,000 voters.

He received twice the support of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio, who each were favored by 15.7 percent of viewers. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois closely followed in fourth place at 15 percent.

The Edwards plan — which would ban any new coal-fired power plant from being built in the U.S. — aims to reduce greenhouse gases 80 percent by 2050.

Mr. Edwards and Mr. Obama said they would auction off polluter permits and use the money to promote clean energy and alternative fuel research, while Mrs. Clinton said she was "intrigued" by that idea.

Mr. Edwards also pledged to spend $1 billion to make sure America builds "the most fuel-efficient, innovative cars on the planet," stressing the jobs should go to union members in towns hurt by outsourcing. He said he would create one million new "green-collar jobs," a term most Democratic presidential candidates are using on the campaign trail.
It looks like Edwards pulled it off by offering huge plums to two of the noisiest constituencies of the Democratic Party—environmentalists and labor unions.

Of course, if Gore enters the race (and, as I've said before, he'd be a fool not to leverage the popularity he's gained on the left), Edwards can kiss most of that support goodbye.

P.S. Edwards wants to ban new coal-fired power plants and promote clean-energy alternatives, but I wonder how willing he would be to embrace the most promising clean-energy alternative: nuclear power.

(Credit: AmSpec blog)