Green Campaign Watch: Gore Supports Obama, Cleantech Cheers


Former Vice President turned cleantech venture capitalist Al Gore has come out of political hibernation to officially endorse presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. The announcement was made at a fundraiser in Detroit, Mich. last night but earlier in the day Gore wrote to his own supporters that he would “do whatever I can to make sure [Obama] is elected President of the United States.”

Beyond the shared politics of change, Obama and Gore share a vision for venture capital in the cleantech space. Obama’s energy plan includes a ‘Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund’ backed by an annual $10 billion investment over five years. Meanwhile, Gore has found himself with access to a massive $1.88 billion earmarked for cleantech investments, spread across three separate funds and two investment firms — Kleiner Perkins and Climate Solutions Fund.

The question now becomes, what roll will Al Gore play in an Obama presidency? When asked if he would tap Gore for a Cabinet-level post to help address climate change, Obama said: “I would.” Obama added, “Not only will I, but I will make a commitment that Al Gore will be at the table and play a central part in us figuring out how we solve this problem.”

This isn’t to say Gore will be head of the EPA and certainly says nothing of the ongoing running mate search. But what sorts of vested interests would Gore have to give up in order to resume high public office? Would he be willing to do that or could he be more effective in fighting global warming in the private sector? What do you political pundits and policy wonks think?

Image courtesy of Obama’s campaign.



Gore’s effectiveness in the private sector, which has given him the public profile he has, is what will get him into a position of high public office. There, he’ll benefit from his influence, knowledge and the backing of a president who shares the same sense of urgency on the climate file. One could argue that Gore has maxed out his effectiveness in the private sector, where there’s money to be made but little more he can do to educate the public about climate change concerns.

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