NRDC Ads: Sens. Portman & Toomey Voted for Polluters over Climate Action

Ads also commend Sens. Ayotte, Collins and Warner for voting to protect public health and climate

WASHINGTON (March 24, 2015) – The Natural Resources Defense Council has launched a six-figure multi-state ad campaign taking to task two key senators for votes backing a big polluter agenda while praising three of their colleagues for voting to back health and clean energy and action on climate change.

The ads—running as the GOP-led Congress takes up its 2016 federal budget –laud votes cast earlier this year by Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Mark Warner (D-VA), to support the science of climate change, protect clean air and promote renewable energy, while chiding Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), and Pat Toomey (R-PA), for voting the wrong way on those measures.

“Senator Mitch McConnell and his congressional allies are bent on dismantling decades of health and environmental protections the American people both strongly support and deserve,” said Pete Altman, director of NRDC’s Climate Campaign. “Sens. Portman and Toomey, in particular, have voted against safeguards that keep our air and water clean and our climate safe. But they don’t get a free pass. We’re making sure Ohioans and Pennsylvanians know their senators want to let polluters dump more dangerous pollution into our air and water, to put future generations at risk.” 

The ads are running in online editions of newspapers in New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia, on Facebook, and as digital display ads in various outlets.

One of the Facebook ads says Toomey and Portman, “Voted for Polluters, Not People.”

Just this week, 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. His amendment would allow any state to decide that the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan cutting carbon pollution is just optional. 

“Senator Portman 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,” said Henry Henderson, director of NRDC’s Midwest Program. “And his vote undercuts the important energy efficiency policies that he has advocated for in the past. The vote has horrible implications for the health of Lake Erie and the people of Ohio.”

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 EPA carbon pollution from power plants to lessen its impacts, according to the poll, which was released by NRDC. More on the poll here:

NRDC’s ads commend senators who are standing up to polluters and protecting key health protections.

One Facebook ad, for example, featuring Collins says, “Thank you for Protecting Children’s Health.” Another featuring Ayotte says, “Thank you Sen. Kelly Ayotte for protecting New Hampshire’s Future.”

Digital newspaper ads also praise Warner with a message similar to the Collins ad.

“Senators Collins, Ayotte and Warner have bucked the big polluters by voting to protect their constituents’ health and their states’ future,” said Altman. “That’s the right 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 at 49 percent in New Hampshire, 47 percent in Virginia and 45 percent in Maine. More on the environmental views poll is here:

“Sen. McConnell has promised to tear down or outright eliminate the health and environmental protections that keep our families and children safe,” Altman said, “and after about 70 days running the Senate, he and his allies have made it clear they are promoting the narrow interests of big polluters over public health and safety protections for all Americans.”

An ad featuring Portman is here:

An ad featuring Toomey is here:

An ad featuring Ayotte is here:

An ad featuring Collins is here:

Please see Pete Altman’s blog for more information:


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