DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Hillary Clinton is bringing in Al Gore as her closer on climate change as she struggles to appeal to young voters who consider the issue a priority.
Vice president during her husband’s eight years in the White House and a longtime environmental activist, Gore will join the Democratic presidential candidate at a rally in Miami Tuesday. During the event, Clinton will emphasizing her plans to develop more clean energy, reduce fossil fuel production and build more weather-resistant infrastructure. She will also continue her attacks on Republican Donald Trump.
Speaking at Ohio State University Monday night, Clinton said: “I’m running against somebody who doesn’t believe in climate change or at least he says he doesn’t, who has even said he thinks it’s a hoax created by the Chinese.”
During the primary contest against progressive Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton offered clean energy plans and came out against the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is opposed by environmentalists.
“Climate change is one of the issues where the difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is night and day,” said Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon. “For many of the core supporters we are seeking to galvanize in the remaining weeks of the campaign, including young voters, communicating the boldness of her plan is important.”
Trump has repeatedly questioned climate change and said he plans to “renegotiate” the Paris Climate Agreement, an international treaty designed to curb the rise in global temperatures.
The world is on pace for the hottest year on record, breaking marks set in 2015, 2014, and 2010. It is about 1.8 degrees warmer than a century ago. Scientists have also connected man-made climate change to deadly heat waves, droughts and flood-inducing downpours.
Gore explored global warming in his 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Advocacy group NextGen Climate, founded by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, is backing Clinton and has put $25 million into a millennial outreach program. Their surveys of young people showed that early in the summer, many did not see a difference between Clinton and Trump on climate, but as they learned more, they moved toward Clinton.
At the rally was Miami Dade College student Adam Demayo, 24, who said climate change is his top concern.
“Every beach I go to is polluted,” said Demayo, a former Sanders supporter who said he is reluctantly voting for Clinton. “My children are going to, like, die. I want to dedicate my life to saving the planet.”
Despite Clinton’s promotion of energy policies aimed at lessening climate change, there has not always been unanimity among her campaign aides about how strong that support should be. A message released Tuesday by Wikileaks from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked email account shows some aides were not totally on board with Clinton’s promise in June 2015 to raise fees on companies involved in oil exploration and fossil fuel production on federal land.
Clinton had broached the idea in her campaign launch speech in June 2015, but raising energy royalties could be politically explosive in western states where oil and gas firms have spent billions of dollars on extracting fuels.
In July 2015, campaign speechwriting director Dan Schwerin told Podesta in an email that “I think we’re going to have to make peace with our fossil fuels royalties, since she’s already promised that.”
On July 15, 2015, Clinton said she wanted to raise fees and phase out fuel extraction operating on public lands, but warned it could not be done quickly because “we still have to run our economy, we still have to turn on the lights.”
The leaked emails also show a discussion on how Clinton could show her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. Wrote Schwerin on August 7, 2015: “We are trying to find a good way to leak her opposition to the pipeline without her having to actually say it and give up her principled stand about not second-guessing the president in public.”
Clinton announced her opposition during a town hall in Iowa the following month, in response to a question from the audience.