Western North Carolina saw another high profile visit of this campaign season yesterday when Chelsea Clinton visited downtown. Clinton’s visit to Asheville was all about global warming. And the world isn’t the only thing heating up. So too is the presidential race, very much so in North Carolina. The visit came one day after her mom Hillary Clinton made Raleigh her first campaign stop following Monday’s presidential debate. Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence have made numerous stops in the state in recent weeks as well.
Chelsea Clinton spoke before a friendly audience at the climate change innovation center The Collider with the goal of boosting her mother’s candidacy, in an event entirely dedicated to climate change and clean energy.
“I was really proud of my mom Monday night in the debate and proud that she brought up climate change as both an urgent threat and an opportunity for our country.”
Clinton spoke for about 10 minutes before taking questions, outlining her mother’s views on the issue.
“She believes that some country will be the energy superpower of the 21st century. And she believes it should be us.”
She highlighted several of her mom’s policy goals for how to achieve that, including this one.
She thinks we should have half a billion net new solar panels by the end of her first term.”
That goal is especially resonant in North Carolina, which recently moved into 2nd place in the nation for installed solar power. Clinton closed her remarks on a personal note about climate change.
“It’s one of the many things I didn’t know that I could care more about until I became a parent and found that I could, because I don’t want my children to grow up in a world that looks very different than our world, where the Blue Ridge Mountains that you’re so blessed to live so close to, whole ecosystems may be destroyed. That is not the future that I want for my children, even if they’re never so lucky to come here. But don’t worry, we’ll bring them here.”
Clinton then took about 30 minutes of substantive questions from the audience before wrapping up her visit. James McMahon, CEO of The Collider, spoke with me about the event.
“Ms. Clinton’s visit is wonderful because it shows the commitment of her campaign to this issue.”
I asked him about the significance of a grim milestone the world passed this week, when climate scientists reported that the world is likely to never see an atmosphere with a carbon dioxide content of less than 400 parts per million ever again.
“It just highlights the importance of our reaction to the problem and understanding how climate affects us, our businesses, our communities, our lives and our livelihoods.”
***Bonus material is below, including Clinton's full remarks in audio and video, and the full interview with Collider CEO James McMahon.***