Greens look to tie GOP House candidates to Exxon climate fight

Greens look to tie GOP House candidates to Exxon climate fight
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A major environmental group wants to tie Republican House candidates to Exxon Mobil Corp. and its controversial history with climate change.

The League of Conservation Voters is kicking off the effort Friday with a $200,000 digital video advertising campaign against incumbent Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.).

Exxon has been accused of knowing four decades ago that greenhouse gases cause climate change but covering up the research in order to sow doubt about global warming and stop certain proposals to fight it.

The League thinks a winning strategy would be to connect Hardy to the controversy.

“Newly released documents show oil giant Exxon had scientific evidence forty years ago that climate change is being fueled by carbon pollution and spent millions covering it up, propping up politicians to block action to protect us,” the voiceover in the ad says.

“The local connection: 4th District Congressman Cresent Hardy. Hardy’s one of the politicians listed taking more than $30,000 from oil and gas interests, and voting their way.”

It accuses Hardy of protecting “Big Oil, not us.”

Green groups often attempt to link Republicans to the fossil fuel industry. But the League's strategy suggests that the Exxon controversy is ripe for a more targeted campaign.

Hardy, who is fighting for reelection against Nevada State Sen. Ruben Kihuen (D), is the first target of the group's campaign to tie candidates to Exxon.

The League, which is the second-biggest spender among green groups in the 2016 elections behind NextGen Climate, could try the strategy with other House candidates, though it hasn’t committed to any specific races.