If you’re an environmentalist who supports Obama, you’d better make sure you got the memo on climate change. A group of climate leaders has issued talking points to pro-Obama activists and organizers on climate change, urging them to stay away from economic arguments and talk of regulation. (Apparently, they need their own teleprompter).
From the National Journal:
A talking points memo sent Monday night ahead of President Obama’s speech Tuesday on climate change tells Obama supporters to downplay economic arguments and words like “regulations.”
The memo, obtained by National Journal, includes a “do’s and don’t’s” list of phrases to use (and not use) when advocating for action on climate change. “Do discuss modernizing and retooling power plants and innovation that will create green jobs…Don’t try to suggest net job increases,” reads one part of the memo.
Ken Berlin, chair of the Energy & Environment Team, a group of national, state and local energy and climate leaders, distributed the memo to his group of about 1,300 people who have organized around these issues for the Obama campaign.
Berlin said the memo was written by the Climate Action Coalition, a new coalition of most major environmental groups. He added the umbrella group is coordinated in part by Kevin Curtis, who is also affiliated with The Climate Reality Project, an advocacy group founded by environmentalist and former Vice President Al Gore. A call to Curtis was not immediately returned.
More from the 14-page memo’s “do’s and don’t’s” list: “Do inform audiences about the nature of the problem, who is at fault, and what can be done…Don’t debate the increase in electricity rates. Instead pivot to health & clean air message.” Another one says: “Do use ‘cutting carbon pollution from power plants’…Don’t use ‘regulations to control greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.’ ”
In his speech today, Obama focused heavily on coal as a major cause of pollution affecting the climate and pledged to follow through with executive actions rather than rely upon Congress.
President Barack Obama unveiled an aggressive new climate change strategy on Tuesday that would limit pollution from existing coal-fired power plants, and he made clear that approval of the Keystone XL pipeline depended on the project not increasing overall greenhouse gas emissions.
Obama raised the two politically charged issues during a sweeping address on second-term environmental priorities that included his plan of executive actions that don’t require congressional approval in an era of partisan gridlock in Washington.
He also pledged global leadership on climate change and to redouble U.S. efforts to fight it.
The Georgetown University speech came as environmental constituents and climate change advocates press him to take more aggressive action and to push harder for clean energy alternatives.
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