Greens groups: Court ruling opens door for polluters

Green groups assailed the Supreme Court for striking down limits on campaign contributions on Wednesday, calling it a handout to the nation's biggest polluters.

Groups like the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and NextGen Climate Action have argued that climate change policies have the power to become wedge issues in 2014 and future elections, but Wednesday's ruling may change that.

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"The same Court that decided Citizens United has made wealthy polluters even more powerful," Gene Karpinski, president of LCV, said in a statement. "A closely divided Supreme Court today put its thumb on the scale for the super wealthy like the Koch Brothers and opened the floodgates for them to drown out the voices of Americans nationwide."

Jeff Gohringer, spokesman for LCV, said the public still wants action on climate and will show that come November even with the latest ruling striking down limits on overall contributions.

"The American people know climate change is happening, they want to see action to address it and they’re holding politicians accountable like never before," Gohringer told The Hill on Wednesday.

President of the Sierra Club Michael Brune said the fight is not over.

"To be clear, today the Court capitulated to a coal executive's demand that he and his fellow big polluters be allowed to dump millions more of their corrupt dollars into politics," Brune said.

The Sierra Club said it will make sure those funneling money toward expanding oil and gas policies and climate skeptics will know they are on "the wrong side."

Republicans cheered the ruling, however, saying it upheld the First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

“You all have the freedom to write what you want to write. Donors ought to have the freedom to give what they want to give," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters on Wednesday.