Daily Dirty Denier$

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Melissa Harrison, NRDC Action Fund, 202-513-6278, mharrison@nrdc.org

Daily Dirty Denier$

NRDC Action Fund to Expose #DirtyDenier$ During August Recess

WASHINGTON (July 28, 2014) – For some members of Congress casting dirty votes and accepting campaign contributions from polluters is a normal day in Washington. But, this August, as members return home to face voters, the NRDC Action Fund will expose some of them for exactly who they are: dirty deniers. Beginning August 4, the NRDC Action Fund will name “Daily Dirty Deniers” each weekday, featuring members (#DailyDenier$) who allow polluters to foul our air by casting dirty votes and accepting dirty money.

“As we approach the dog days of summer, I can only think about how hard it is to teach an old dog new tricks,” said Heather Taylor-Miesle, NRDC Action Fund Director. “With 99 days until the mid-term elections, the same old polluters and polluter allies, cue the Chamber of Commerce, Koch Brothers and Karl Rove, are running the same old attack ads, using the same old lies and scare tactics, and hoping the American public is none the wiser. We can’t let representatives and senators off the hook for voting against our best interests. So this August we are holding them accountable.”

The NRDC Action Fund will highlight 20 total members during the August recess which leads into the unofficial kickoff to election season. The “Daily Dirty Denier$” campaign is focused on bringing attention to these member Congress while they are home and trying to convince voters they have their best interests in mind. We will expose:

  • House members who have now voted almost 200 times in just this Congress to weaken or eliminate environmental protections;
  • How outside polluter money is being used to support #DirtyDenier$;
  • Why polluters lost in 2012 and why they will lose again in 2014; and
  • Support for climate action specifically among the rising American electorate.

The #DirtyDenier$ campaign will also encourage voters to hold these members accountable by spreading the message that protecting our environment isn’t just good policy, it’s good politics. The daily blog will be available beginning Monday, August 4 at www.nrdcactionfund.org and on Facebook and Twitter. To read more about the campaign and the relentless Republican assault on basic health and environmental protections visit: http://bit.ly/1zmBt99.

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The NRDC Action Fund’s mission is to grow the environmental majority across America to achieve the passage of legislation that jump-starts the clean energy economy, reduces pollution, and sustains vibrant communities for all Americans. Now is the time for leadership and action from our elected officials — our current goal is a comprehensive clean energy policy that will repower our economy and fuel our future. www.nrdcactionfund.org

Note to reporters/editors: The NRDC Action Fund is an affiliated but separate organization from the Natural Resources Defense Council. As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, the NRDC Action Fund engages in various advocacy and political activities for which the Natural Resources Defense Council, a 501(c)(3) organization, faces certain legal limitations or restrictions. News and information released by the NRDC Action Fund needs to be identified as from the “NRDC Action Fund.” The “Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund” is incorrect. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the NRDC Action Fund can not be used interchangeably.  Also please note that the word “National” does not appear in Natural Resources Defense Council.

Daily Dirty Denier$

Dirty votes and dirty money. For some members of Congress this is a normal day in Washington.

This August, as members return home to face voters, we will expose some of them for exactly who they are: dirty deniers. Starting August 4, the NRDC Action Fund will name “Daily Dirty Deniers” each weekday. These #DailyDenier$ will feature members who allow polluters to foul our air by casting dirty votes and accepting dirty money.

Why Expose Them Now?

As we approach the dog days of summer, I can only think about how hard it is to teach an old dog new tricks. With 99 days until the mid-term elections, the same old polluters and polluter allies (cue the Chamber of Commerce, Koch Bros. and Karl Rove) are running the same old attack ads, using the same old lies and scare tactics, and hoping the American public is none the wiser. We can’t let representatives and senators off the hook for voting against our best interests. So this August we are holding them accountable.

What’s at Stake?

Since 2012, the Republican-led House and the Democratic majority in the Senate have been stalemated. Some have declared it gridlock. I’d argue it differently. What we are witnessing is actually trench warfare to block a relentless Republican assault on basic health and environmental protections.  If the fossil-fueled politicians have their way, it will only get worse. So far, we’ve been lucky: for every Republican effort to pass a destructive rider or launch an attack on the Environmental Protection Agency, there is an environmental champion digging in to protect our air, land and water. But, our champs need our support so we can win these battles decisively and move on.  If deniers are successful in November, we will be having to spend a lot of time playing defense when we need to make major strides to complete the Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.  This is especially important in the Senate, where the President’s Clean Power Plan will face the most crucial votes.

The Koch Brothers alone are estimated to spend $390 million in targeted races this year. In fact, reports in March already had them at the $30 million mark. Their goal? Protect dirty deniers who will, in turn, follow a right-wing agenda and protect the Koch’s polluting interests.

Why Polluters Will Lose Again

Two years ago we endured a long election season, but entered the winter excited that Americans had re-elected a pro-environment President and environmental champions to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Even though polluters spent big, more than $150 million in ad campaigns by mid-September, they had very little to show for it. At the time I wondered if this could be the turning point for many in the Republican Party. Would they see the error of their Tea Party ways and finally return to the roots of their party, which once prided itself on conservation? The answer turned out to be a resounding “no.”

Many of them actually doubled down on their dirty votes. House members have now voted well almost 200 times in this Congress to weaken or eliminate environmental protections. This defies logic. Support for climate action is only growing stronger, especially among the rising American electorate: women, Latinos, and millennials. Without the support of these voting blocs, candidates on either side of the aisle don’t stand a chance of winning. In our recent battleground polling, voters from multiple demographic groups overwhelming supported reducing dangerous carbon pollution. This includes 53 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Independents, and 87 percent of Democrats. Even when we used opponents’ arguments  voters supported our arguments for addressing climate change by a 22-point margin.  Yet polluters continue to spend money on anti-environment ads and dirty air villains continue to vote to allow polluters operate with impunity.

We Need You to Act

Taking on dirty polluters and their hand-picked congressional allies isn’t easy. We need you to help us spread the message that protecting our environment isn’t just good policy, it’s good politics. Will you commit to sharing #DirtyDenier$ on your favorite social media channels? You can also visit online pages of the deniers to let them know you’re unhappy with their dirty votes or highlight their destructive views in a letter to the editor of your local paper. You can get the #DirtyDenier$ every weekday starting Monday, August 4 at www.nrdcactionfund.org and on Facebook and Twitter.

The Koch brothers may have more money, but we have more people. Together we will act to stop the deniers’ agenda because: “It’s reckless. It’s radical. It’s relentless. It’s wrong.”

 

Election Takeaway for Fossil Fuel Industry: Money Can’t Buy You Love

Americans have returned a clean energy champion to the White House, but they didn’t stop there. All the way down the ticket, voters overwhelmingly favored candidates who support clean energy, clean air, and strong public health safeguards.

This is victory for everyone who likes to breathe clean air and drink clean water, and it is a resounding defeat for polluters and the dirty agenda they tried to sell to voters.

The fossil fuel industry went all in on this election. By mid-September, oil, gas, and coal companies had spent more than $150 million on campaign ads. Texas oil barons handed over $10 million to Governor Romney in one week alone—the week before he released his energy plan. By the time all the checks are tallied, the amount spent by dirty energy companies will be well over $200 million.

And yet the fossil fuel industry has little to show for it. Oil, gas, and coal companies spent $20 million to defeat Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), but he won anyway. He ran on his record of supporting renewable power and environmental protections and voters rewarded him for it.

They did the same thing in the New Mexico Senate race. Fossil fuel companies opened their checkbooks for Former Representative Heather Wilson, a pro-drilling, anti-climate action candidate. But voters preferred Representative Martin Heinrich and the fact that he made clean energy and climate action a central part of his campaign.

In Virginia, fossil fuel companies and other outside interests spent heavily to take a senate seat away from the Democratic Party. Voters weren’t buying it. They elected Former Governor Tim Kaine who has a long history of standing up for clean air and public health safeguards.

It turns out my mother was right: money can’t buy you love. If you can’t buy it for $200 million, then it’s not for sale.

That means these Senators are free to do the right thing on clean energy and clean air. They underwent a full-throttled, deep-pocketed attack on from the right and survived. Why? Because voters did not take the side of polluters. They took the side of clean energy champions.

This shouldn’t come as a big surprise; poll after poll confirmed voters’ desire for a clean energy economy. A September survey by Public Policy Polling, for instance, found that 53 percent of undecided voters in battleground states said they would support a Congressional candidate who wants to extend tax incentives for wind power, while 31 percent would choose the candidate who would kill those incentives. Fifty-nine percent said they favored Congressional candidates who support reducing mercury pollution from power plants and only 23 percent would chose candidates who oppose mercury standards.

Voters recognize that clean energy and clean air deliver real benefits to our communities. More than 120,000 Americans have jobs in the solar industry, and more than 150,000 people work building parts for and assembling clean cars—hybrids, electric cars, and other advanced vehicles that weren’t even available 10 years ago. More than 1 million Americans are now saving money on their electric builds because they made their homes more energy efficient. And soon, hundreds of thousands of children will breathe easier once power plants start following new limits on mercury, lead, and other air pollutants.

Oil and gas companies thought that if they spent millions and millions of dollars, they could distract Americans from these benefits and undermine support for clean energy. They were wrong, and they lost. Now the case is closed. It’s time for champions in the White House and Congress to respect voters’ wishes and stand  up for clean energy, clean air, and a stable climate.