Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s brand-new running mate, appears to have an uncanny ability to appeal to people across the spectrum.
Kaine is no Elizabeth Warren, but he’s no Jim Webb either, getting good reviews from surprising quarters. As Politico reported earlier this month, he opposed the Keystone XL pipeline, protected 400,000 acres of land from development as governor of Virginia, supports the Clean Power Plan, and has worked to prepare coastal communities for climate change and sea-level rise. The League of Conservation Voters has given him a lifetime voting score of 91 percent.
Kaine, however, has also supported offshore drilling in the Atlantic — contradicting Clinton’s position — and supported a bill to fast-track the construction of natural gas terminals. Even fossil fuel interests have taken a liking to him. “We’re encouraged by the reasonable approach he’s taken on oil and natural gas, that he hasn’t been swayed by politics and ideology,” Miles Morin, executive director of the Virginia Petroleum Council, told Politico.
Of course, being on good terms with the fossil fuel industry is a cause for concern among some greens. “If Kaine is the pick, Hillary will need to stake out much clearer positions on drilling, fracking, and new fossil fuel infrastructure,” said 350.org’s Jason Kowalski before Clinton’s choice was made. R.L. Miller, Climate Hawks Vote cofounder and a chair of California Democrats’ environmental caucus, responded to Kaine with a resounding “meh,” citing his mixed record on fossil fuels as something that won’t lure progressive Democrats to the polls.