Green groups step up messaging against CRA votes

Source: Daniel Bush, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Environmental groups are waging an all-out campaign against the latest congressional attempts to kill the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, launching ads and polls this week in support of the carbon rule.

As part of that effort, the Sierra Club will unveil print and digital ads Sunday urging Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) to reject Congressional Review Act resolutions that would block U.S. EPA’s finalized rule to reduce emissions at new and existing power plants.

The CRA resolutions could reach the Senate floor as early as next week, though a vote hasn’t been scheduled yet, according to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office.

The measures don’t need a 60-vote majority to clear a filibuster, raising the likelihood that they’ll pass the GOP-controlled Senate, but Republicans don’t have enough votes to override a veto from President Obama, who has made the rule a centerpiece of his climate legacy.

Still, green groups are ramping up their messaging efforts ahead of the CRA votes. The Sierra Club’s print and digital ads urge Donnelly to “stand up to the extreme attacks on protections from dangerous air pollution.”

“Senator Mitch McConnell and Republicans in Congress want to take the extreme step of gutting the Clean Power Plan’s historic safeguards to reduce power plant pollution and combat climate disruption,” the ad warns.

The ads also feature a quote from Pope Francis, who released an encyclical on climate action earlier this year and highlighted the issue in his address to Congress in September.

The Sierra Club also released polls today that found a majority of voters in Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, Ohio and Virginia support the Clean Power Plan. The poll also found that a majority of voters in those states trust EPA scientists to regulate air and water pollution more than members of Congress.

Earlier this week, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune urged a group of moderate GOP senators to reject the CRA resolutions on the Clean Power Plan (E&ENews PM, Nov. 10). Environment America also put out ads this week defending the EPA regulations.