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Major green group endorses Clinton

Major green group endorses Clinton
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The NRDC Action Fund on Tuesday endorsed Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNSA leaker Reality Winner released from federal prison Monica Lewinsky signs production deal with 20th TV Police investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide MORE for president, the first time the environmental group has endorsed in a presidential election.

The group is the political wing of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and while it has made a string of endorsements in Senate and House contests, it has not previously endorsed in a presidential race. 

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In a statement alluding to the ongoing Democratic primary race, the group said it is endorsing now because “it’s critical for all of us to unite behind an environmental champion and help her beat Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. 

Clinton won the group’s endorsement because she is an “environmental champion with the passion, experience and savvy to build on President Obama’s environmental legacy,” NRDC Action Fund President Rhea Suh said in a statement. 

Suh highlighted Clinton's statements and work on clean water, green energy and international diplomacy. She also took aim at Trump, who last week laid out an energy platform heavy with promises for the fossil fuel industry, promised to undo the Paris climate agreement and downplayed the drought in California. 

“His plan for his first 100 days would take us back 100 years, and America cannot afford to indulge his climate conspiracy theories,” Suh said.

“It’s time for all Americans who care about environmental justice, public health and protecting the planet for future generations to unite — to stand with Hillary Clinton and reject Donald Trump and his big polluter agenda.” 

The endorsement comes in the closing stages of the Democratic primary race between Clinton and rival Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders won't vote for bipartisan infrastructure deal Bipartisan infrastructure deal takes fire from left and right Politics of discontent: Who will move to the center and win back Americans' trust? MORE, who faces long odds of securing the nomination. 

The two candidates have traded endorsements of environmental groups throughout the campaign. Friends of the Earth Action and others have backed Sanders, while the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund supported Clinton. 

Other groups, like 350 Action and billionaire donor Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate, have not formally endorsed candidates in the race.

In a statement, Clinton said she was “honored” to receive the endorsement. 

“The stakes for our children's health and the future of our planet have never been higher,” she said, addressing concerns about Trump. “We need to be accelerating the transition to a clean energy future, not letting a climate denier doom our children to a future beyond their capacity to repair.

"It has never been more critical that we come together to face the shared challenge of climate change — because there is no Planet B."

— This post was updated at 10:27 a.m.