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Carbon Offsets Off Clinton's Priority List?

By Matthew Mosk
On Earth Day last year, Hillary Clinton announced that her campaign was taking the somewhat costly step of becoming carbon neutral.

Over the course of 2007, the campaign paid more than $20,000 last year to Native Energy, a firm that supports renewable energy projects and enables companies to "balance out the emissions produced by its offices and travel, making it carbon neutral," as an April 20 campaign press release put it.

The move was well received by environmental groups. Only John Edwards had taken a similar step. Barack Obama's campaign pays a special fee to its charter air firm to offset emissions from its jet travel, but does not offset its full carbon footprint.

But earlier this year, as the Clinton campaign's cash accounts started to dry up, it appears the campaign had to place its desire to remain carbon neutral lower on the priority list. Reports filed to the Federal Election Commission for January and February show the campaign's debt to Native Energy piling up -- it stood at $11,834 at the end of February.

Blake Zeff, a Clinton campaign spokesman, said the campaign has not wavered. The campaign paid $6338.52 to the firm on March 13, catching them up through January, he said.

Native Energy spokesman Billy Connelly said he didn't have the payment data readily available. But he believes the Clinton campaign is "doing a thorough job."

"They're taking this very seriously," Connelly said.

By Washington Post editors  |  March 21, 2008; 3:51 PM ET
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