The Sierra Club is urging vulnerable senators to support President Obama’s climate rule for power plants, warning that the rule is popular among voters who are heading to the polls next year.
The group polled voters in half a dozen states about the Clean Power Plan, a rule designed to cut carbon pollution from power plants, and found generally positive reviews among registered voters.
Four Republicans from those states are seeking reelection in 2016: Sens. Roy Blunt (Mo.), Mark KirkMark KirkGOP senator won't vote to defund Planned Parenthood The Hill's 12:30 Report Trump, judges on collision course MORE (Ill.), Rob PortmanRob PortmanObamaCare fix hinges on Medicaid clash in Senate A guide to the committees: Senate Two tax issues dividing Republicans on ObamaCare MORE (Ohio) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa), with Kirk and Portman seen as vulnerable.
Handicappers consider Kirk to be especially vulnerable next year, and greens have looked to challenge him on environmental issues. Portman is also considered a potential Democratic target in 2016. Iowa is an early-voting state in the presidential contest.
The Senate is set to vote soon on Congressional Review Act resolutions blocking the Clean Power Plan and other EPA power plant rules. The regulations are unpopular among Republicans, though at least one senator facing a tough reelection — Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) — has come out in favor of the plan.
In a statement, the Sierra Club urged other lawmakers to do so, too.
“Voters from these states have made it crystal clear that they want their senators to support the Clean Power Plan, not coal interests on Capitol Hill,” said Mary Anne Hitt, the director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign.
“Senators in these states have a choice: listen to their constituents back home and support the Clean Power Plan, along with all the public health and clean energy benefits it provides, or side with deep-pocketed polluters in Washington who are attacking it,” the statement continued.
Greens say the Clean Power Plan is critical for reducing carbon emissions and confronting climate change, a major goal of the Obama administration. Its opponents have warned it could raise electricity prices and lead to job losses in the energy industry.