The event was billed as a "unity" event, and former EPA Administrator Carol Browner — a one-time Hillary supporter — urged the crowd to follow her lead and get behind the Democratic nominee. The enviros, partying just a stone’s throw from the U.S. Capitol building, didn’t need much convincing, especially given Republican candidate John McCain’s recent flip-flop on oil drilling. The once ardent advocate of protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other sensitive environmental areas from petroleum exploration now says it’s time to rush headlong into drilling as a way to reduce the high price of gas. Hmmm, what about conservation? Or getting those auto companies to increase fuel efficiency? (Full Disclosure: I’m on the board of the Alaska Wilderness League, and have helped protect the refuge from oil drilling for almost 20 years.)
"John McCain will not be good for the environment," Browner, right, told her boisterous audience. "If anyone tells you they think McCain will be a good president, you only need to say one word in reply: NO!!"
Sen. John Kerry, the Massachusetts Senator who was the Democratic nominee four years ago, also took the stage to encourage environmentalists not just to vote for Sen. Obama, but to work for him. His suggestions were seconded by former U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, who minced no words as he held the microphone. "You can make the difference," he said. "We have no time to lose, so let’s get started."