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The NRDC Action Fund today announced veteran environmental policy and political strategist Kevin Curtis has been selected as the organization’s next executive director. Curtis most recently served as executive director of the Partnership Project, which facilitates collaboration among 19 national environmental groups.
“Kevin is the ideal choice to lead the NRDC Action Fund as we work to expand our advocacy, accountability and political work,” said Rhea Suh, the group’s president. “He brings a deep understanding of environment, energy and climate policies and politics, and an impressive track record of non-profit management.”
Curtis previously served as the chief program and advocacy officer at the Climate Reality Project. He was also a Deputy Director of the Pew Environment Group where he was responsible for campaign operations as well as the global warming and a number of other issue campaigns. Curtis also worked for a decade at the National Environmental Trust, a multi-issue environmental advocacy and communications organization that merged with the Pew Charitable Trusts.
NRDC Action Fund Board Chair Patricia Bauman said the selection of Curtis is well-timed. “The year ahead will be pivotal for the environmental movement, and indeed for the future of the planet. The board of directors is excited to work with Kevin to advance this mission, to hold our political leaders accountable and to advocate for action on climate change all across America,” said Bauman.
“I have worked closely with Kevin for the past two decades. He is a smart, strategic and well-respected leader who has spent his entire career working to safeguard our environment,” said League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski. “I am thrilled that we can work with Kevin as we continue our important alliance with NRDC Action Fund to tackle the climate crisis head on and protect our planet for generations to come.”
Curtis succeeds Heather Taylor-Miesle, who left the Action Fund last year to become the executive director of the Ohio Environment Council.
The NRDC Action Fund kicks off a radio issue ad campaign today highlighting a vote by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) in support of a key Congressional Review Act resolution that would repeal essential clean water protections. The issue ads running in Illinois highlight the Senator’s recent vote to kill the Clean Water Rule, which restores protections for streams, wetlands and headwaters that flow into the Great Lakes and drinking water supplies.
“For a politician so quick to crow about Great Lakes stewardship, Senator Kirk’s Congressional Review Act vote is utterly shocking. His vote would repeal the Clean Water Rule and allow pollution of streams and wetlands that flow into Lake Michigan,“ said NRDC Action Fund Midwest Director Henry Henderson. “We were excited last month to congratulate Senator Kirk on his recent climate change vote, but this anti-Clean Water vote is a significant environmental misstep, putting polluters before people and threatening water quality in the Great Lakes.”
The NRDC Action Fund has previously run issue ads, both positive and negative, around other votes cast by Senator Kirk on environmental issues. The week before last, the Action Fund ran digital ads thanking Senator Kirk for going against his party to vote in support of the Clean Power Plan to cut dangerous carbon emissions from the nation’s power plants.
But the Action Fund has been strongly critical of Senator Kirk’s repeated votes against clean water. He has voted to slash funding for clean water infrastructure and has voted on repeatedly to block the implementation of the Clean Water Rule. For example, the day before voting for the Congressional Review Act resolution to repeal the Clean Water Rule, he also voted for a separate bill that would torpedo the Clean Water Rule.
The ad buy will run on numerous Chicago and Springfield radio stations through the end of the week.
CHICAGO (November 25, 2015) –The NRDC Action Fund kicks off a digital ad campaign today thanking Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) for a vote against a Congressional Review Act resolution that would have repealed the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan rule to cut dangerous carbon pollution from America’s power plants.
Kirk was one of three Republicans in the Senate to vote against the resolution – a critical test vote on climate policy. The measure passed 52-46 and President Obama has promised to veto it.
“Senator Kirk went against his party with this vote, and supported a specific action to combat climate change,” said NRDC Action Fund Midwest Director Henry Henderson. “His vote to support the Clean Power Plan was important, but it does not erase other serious environmental missteps made this year when he voted against clean water. We hope Senator Kirk will continue standing up for Illinoisans and not polluters on these important environmental issues moving forward.”
Earlier this year, Senator Kirk cast the deciding vote in favor of blocking the Clean Power Plan. Since then, NRDC has been calling on Senator Kirk to support action to combat climate change, as he generally did previously in his career. Last week, Senator Kirk voted in favor of a resolution to limit the protection of water under the Clean Water Act. Separately, Senator Kirk also voted to slash funding for clean water infrastructure and to block implementation of the Clean Water Rule, which would restore clean water protections for streams, wetlands and headwaters that flow into drinking water supplies.
Polls show that Illinoisans are ready to fight climate change and advance clean energy. A recent bipartisan poll released by NRDC shows that nearly two-thirds of Illinoisans support the Clean Power Plan and 8-in-10 Illinoisans support the state plan to cut carbon pollution.
• Further information NRDC’s Illinois climate and clean power polling can be found at http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/hhenderson/polling_shows_illinoisans.html