Green groups spend big to promote climate policy

Green groups are spending big to promote climate policies, amid deliberations by lawmakers in the past several months on a major climate and social spending bill. 

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and a group called Climate Power have partnered on a number of advertisements, spending a total of $50 million promoting climate legislation and Democrats’ major climate and social spending bill so far this year, according to figures shared with The Hill.  

Pete Maysmith, LCV’s senior vice president for campaigns, told The Hill that this is significantly more than the group has spent on policy ads in the past. 

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“When it comes from a policy and an advocacy perspective, we’ve never done any thing of this order of magnitude before and again, that’s because this moment is so urgent,” Maysmith said. 

The sum only applies to policy-related ads and not spending to bolster electoral campaigns.

The groups also asked other allied organizations how much they have spent on legislative advocacy, and according to an estimate provided to The Hill, the environmental movement at large has spent $85 million on this type of advertising so far this year.

The spending comes as Democrats have tried to lock in the spending package’s climate provisions, amid pushback from Sen. Joe ManchinJoe Manchin​​Democrats make voting rights push ahead of Senate consideration Sunday shows - Voting rights legislation dominates Kaine says core of spending bill will pass but most of it is 'dead' MORE (D-W.Va.) and some House moderates about certain climate proposals. 

The House has already passed the bill, but in the Senate, Manchin has noted that they are working on “adjustments” to the energy provisions. Lawmakers told The Hill this week that a program seeking to cut methane emissions and provide incentives for buying union-made electric vehicles are being negotiated.

LCV and Climate Power say they spent about $30 million on television ads and about $2.8 million on Facebook ads with key words related to the legislation, including in states where key lawmakers reside. 

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Through these two media, they spent $250,000 in West Virginia and nearly $1.9 million in Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten Sinema​​Democrats make voting rights push ahead of Senate consideration Sunday shows - Voting rights legislation dominates Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities MORE's (D) state of Arizona, as well as $6 million in Washington, D.C.

Maysmith said that with Democrats having control of Congress and the White House, this moment is a unique opportunity. 

“We’ve got a pro-environment president who campaigned on the urgent need to address climate change, that is enormously exciting and then ... strongly pro-environment leadership in the Senate and the House,” Maysmith said. 

“The need is what science and our lived experience is telling us, the opportunity is the political makeup in the White House, in the Senate and the House,” he added.