NRDC Raps Portman, Toomey for Big Polluter Agenda Votes; Applauds Ayotte, Collins and Warner

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NRDC is announcing today a significant digital ad campaign criticizing Senator Rob Portman and Pat Toomey for voting against climate solutions, clean air and renewable energy while thanking Senators Kelly Ayotte, Susan Collins and Mark Warner for voting to defend public health and the environment.

Those votes foreshadow a looming onslaught of proposals pushed by big polluters and their Republican allies in the Senate that would dismantle decades of health and environmental protections the American people both strongly support and deserve.

Just this week, Senator Portman introduced a budget amendment that would, for the first time since the Clean Air Act was signed into law in 1970, allow a state to simply ignore a federal clean air requirement. Portman's amendment would allow any state to decide that the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan cutting carbon pollution is just optional.

And for years, both Senators Portman and Toomey have voted against safeguards that keep our air and water clean and our climate safe.

Don't let them get a free pass-help us make sure that Ohioans and Pennsylvanians know their senators want to let polluters dump more dangerous pollution into our air and water, putting future generations at risk.

Click here to see the ads in Ohio and the ads in Pennsylvania.

As my colleague Henry Henderson, director of NRDC's Midwest Program, says in NRDC's press release about the ads:

Senator Portman's vote is completely out of line with public sentiment in Ohio, where the majority of people support cuts in carbon pollution and a deepened investment in clean energy. And it undercuts the important energy efficiency policies that the Senator has advocated for in the past. The vote has horrible implications for the health of Lake Erie and the people of Ohio.

How do we know that Portman, and Toomey, are both out of step with their constituents? Recent bipartisan polling shows that, on climate change, a majority of Ohioans--58 percent--and a majority of Pennsylvanians--60 percent--support federal action by the Environmental Protection Agency to limit dangerous carbon pollution from power plants to lessen its impacts, according to the poll, which was released by NRDC. More on the poll here:

At the same time, NRDC is giving a big thank-you to Senators Ayotte, Collins and Warner who have bucked the big polluters by voting to protect their constituents' health and their states' future. We are glad to see that kind of leadership because the people of Maine, Virginia and New Hampshire support strong health protections and value clean air and water and support action on climate change.

Recent bipartisan polling in Maine, New Hampshire and Virginia found that Americans, essentially, reject the big polluters' agenda. Instead, there's substantial support across the board for the EPA's proposals to limit carbon pollution from power plants: Maine 74 percent; New Hampshire, 72 percent; and Virginia 69 percent.

Further, more than three-quarters of the people in each state say that environmental standards are about right or should be tougher. Support for tougher standards stands at49 percent in New Hampshire, 47 percent in Virginia and 45 percent in Maine. More on the environmental views poll is here:

Click here to see the Maine, New Hampshire and Virginia ads.

For 90 days now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done more to tear down or outright eliminate the health and environmental protections that keep our families and children safe than he has any other issue. Senator McConnell is defining his leadership of the Senate by promoting the narrow interests of big polluters over public health and safety protections for all Americans. We hope to see more and more Senators stand up to his big polluter agenda by choosing to protect public health and the environment.