Energy & Environment

Climate groups coordinating $100M in ad spending ahead of midterms

Greg Nash

A coalition of environmental groups on Monday announced a $100 million ad campaign ahead of a midterm election season that looks increasingly hostile to congressional Democrats. 

The groups will put the money toward federal and state candidates with aggressive climate policy proposals, including outreach to voters who count climate as a top issue and are at risk of sitting out the election.  

The initiative, the Climate Votes Project, will comprise groups including Climate Power Action, Climate Reality Action Fund, Environmental Defense Fund Action Vote, League of Conservation Voters Victory Fun, Natural Resources Defense Council Action Votes and NextGen PAC. 

The coalition, first reported by CNN, will also put the funds toward ads targeting candidates receiving substantial funding from the fossil fuel industry and those who oppose aggressive climate action, according to an announcement from the organizations.  

The Biden administration’s signature Build Back Better policy package includes a number of aggressive climate actions but was seemingly doomed in December after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced he would not back it. While a bipartisan group of senators has continued meeting for talks on a potential smaller climate package, activists and candidates such as Pennsylvania Lt. Gov John Fetterman, who recently won the state’s Democratic Senate primary, have called to elect more progressive Democrats to the Senate to sidestep the need for Manchin’s approval. 

Pete Maysmith, senior vice president for campaign at the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund, told The Hill that the coalition will seek to recapture enthusiasm from voters who rank climate as a top issue but may have lost faith since the 2020 election. Despite advancements such as rejoining the Paris climate accords, Maysmith told The Hill, “we’re still pushing forward on climate policy happening through reconciliation … that needs to happen not just for political reasons, because of science, because of justice, because of lived experience.” 

“But it also matters from a political perspective, and that, I think, will be, if it comes to pass, an important part of motivating voters,” he said. 

Maysmith also dismissed the recent environmental strategy released by House Republicans as a “climate scam,” citing its lack of action on reducing carbon emissions, and said the campaign will work to illustrate the contrast between the parties on climate action.  

“It’s vital that voters who care about climate change turn out at the polls this year,” he added. “The stakes, of course, are enormously high. We have to charge forward,” he said. 

Tags Climate Power Action Climate Reality Action Fund Environmental Defense Fund Action Vote Joe Manchin John Fetterman League of Conservation Voters Victory Fun Natural Resources Defense Council Action Votes and NextGen PAC

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