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An Eco-friendly Convention Contest

By Juliet Eilperin
Despite the fact that their delegates will be traveling thousands of miles to attend their national convention in August, Democrats remain optimistic they will have "the most environmentally-sustainable Democratic Convention in history," they announced yesterday.

In order to ensure that happens, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and convention organizers have launched the "Green Delegate Challenge," which offers incentives to the delegation that does the most to offset its carbon footprint.

There's one significant payoff for those who compensate for the fossil fuels they burn along the way to the Denver nominating event: Delegations with the highest percentage of members offsetting their carbon impact get better seating sections on the floor of the Pepsi Center. Each delegate, alternate and superdelegate from winning states will also receive a limited-edition eco-friendly prize -- to be determined -- and convention organizers will update the public on the course of the contest on DemConvention.com.

Even if a state delegation doesn't win the prize, each delegate who offsets his or her travel gets a unique wearable "green item" to wear during convention week, so all their fellow delegates can know how virtuous they are.

"Colorado is going green in ways both large and small, and I'm proud to be a part of the effort to provide Colorado citizens and convention delegates alike the opportunity to offset our carbon footprint," said the state's Democratic governor, Bill Ritter. "Between the delegate challenge and its comprehensive greening initiatives, the Democratic National Convention can make an important contribution to our New Energy Economy."

One hint to the delegates: There's an easy way to win the contest without breaking a sweat -- stay at home, and vote for the presidential nominee by proxy. After all, that's the most eco-friendly move of all.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 8, 2008; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  The Democrats  
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