Edwards picks up key endorsement

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John Edwards (D)
Former Senator, NC
Born: 06/10/1953
Birthplace: Seneca, SC
Home: Raleigh, NC
Religion: Methodist
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CONCORD Democrat John Edwards and Republican John McCain picked up separate endorsements Sunday from two national environmental groups that highlighted their commitment to ending global warming.

Edwards, who spoke in Hampton Sunday morning at the home of Chris and Melanie Muns, won the backing of Friends of the Earth Action, the San Francisco-based political arm of Friends of the Earth. Republicans for Environmental Protection, meanwhile, endorsed McCain for the second time. The group also backed his 2000 campaign.

In endorsing Edwards, the president of Friends of the Earth Action said he was particularly impressed by how early in the campaign Edwards laid out proposals to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050, push for a global climate change treaty, and create 1 million new jobs by investing in clean, renewable energy. In doing so, Edwards has pushed other candidates to either match or improve upon his ideas, said Brent Blackwelder, who announced the endorsement with Edwards at a house party in Dover.

Friends of the Earth Action also noted that unlike his rivals Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, Edwards opposes the construction of additional nuclear power plants. It also believes in Edwards' courage to stand up to the sort of corporate lobbyists and special interests that have driven environmental policy in the Bush administration. Edwards, who does not take money from lobbyists, has proposed barring all candidates for federal office from accepting campaign contributions from lobbyists.