Environmental group adds $20 million more investment to midterm elections

Environmental group adds $20 million more investment to midterm elections
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A political action group focused on getting voters to turn out for environmental and climate change issues is expecting to spend more than $80 million on the midterm elections.

The political arm of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is dishing out $20 million more in funding than previously anticipated toward this year’s midterms, including an additional combined $8 million spent on state ballot initiatives.

The amount the LCV plans to spend this midterm will be the biggest investment it’s made into any midterm.

The money will go toward traditional grass-roots efforts such as door knocking and mailers as well as more than 40 digital advertisements across the country. The investments are focusing on 26 House races, six Senate races, 10 governors races and a number of other local elections.

LCV has historically focused on getting Americans to care and vote on a number of environmental issues ranging from clean water to Superfund cleanups. Their efforts this year, like a number of other politically driven green groups, are also shifting to get voters to the polls by connecting the dots on issues like climate change to other big voter issues like health care and the economy.

The political arm of the Sierra Club also estimates its expenses will total more than $6 million — much higher than what the group spent in 2014.

The heavy push follows a number of Trump administration policy changes that appear to heavily rollback environmental regulations. As many Republicans champion EPA’s moves to weaken regulations governing auto emissions and power plant emissions, the LCV and other green groups have looked at the possibility of Democrats taking back the House as a way to boost environmentalism in politics.

A number of state ballot initiatives are also gathering attention. 

Millions of dollars have been spent on both sides in some of the fiercest battles, with some being viewed as test cases for policies that could be enacted by other states or on a national scale.

From banning offshore drilling to levying what would be the country’s first tax on carbon dioxide emissions, multiple Nov. 6 ballot measures aim to push back on dominant forces at the state or federal level.

Timothy Cama contributed to this story.