This Week In Climate (In)Action


Oct 19, 2018


“I don’t know that it’s man-made.”

“Climate change is changing, and man made climate change is a fact…. We still have time, but the window is closing to get this right.”

  • Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke on the urgency for action on climate change during Tuesday’s televised debate in San Antonio against Ted Cruz



NPR: Democrats Plan More Environmental Oversight If Midterms Swing Their Way

AP: GOP veteran struggles to adjust as seat suddenly isn’t safe

Roll Call: Their Districts Are at Risk. But They Still Vote ‘No’ on Climate Action

Denver Post: Environmental group targets Republican Rep. Mike Coffman with $663K ad buy

Morning Consult: Two-Thirds of Energy Voters More Likely to Vote for a Democrat for Congress

E&E News: Greens, steelworkers union pour more money into Senate races

Seattle Post Intelligencer: Bill & Melinda Gates give $1 million to clean air initiative

The Revelator: The Environment Is on the November Ballot — Here’s Where and What’s at Stake

Outside Magazine: Patagonia Endorses Tester and Rosen

Inside Climate News: With Hurricanes and Toxic Algae, Florida Candidates Can’t Ignore the Environment



LCV’s state affiliates are hard at work protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the states. Here’s what people are reading across the country:

Arizona Capitol Times (AZ): Conservation group to spend $2.8 M to sway Corp Comm vote

Albuquerque Journal (NM): Environmental PAC targets Lyons in land race

Wilton Bulletin (CT): On the Campaign Trail: Boucher

Portland Press Herald (ME): Politically speaking, it’s mud season in Maine

Herald Tribune (FL): Green groups blast endorsement

ThinkProgress (CO): Oil industry gets aggressive in fight over Colorado ballot measure to protect public from drilling


18 DAYS UNTIL THE MIDTERMS… and environmental issues continue to be an important topic for candidates and voters in races across the country. Clean air, clean water, renewable energy, climate action and public health are hot topics on the campaign trail, which will mean a shift in policies if pro-environmental candidates win.

OUR TAKE: On Tuesday’s NPR Morning Edition, LCV SVP of Government Affairs, Tiernan Sittenfeld said: “If we had environmental allies leading the House of Representatives they could do badly needed oversight on the Trump administration’s efforts to cater to polluters every day over our communities.”

LAST MINUTE GREENWASHING: The tactic of “greenwashing” – when candidates try to present themselves as environmentally responsible to win votes – is becoming more prevalent as Election Day nears. Candidates with anti-environmental records across the country are pushing this empty rhetoric, including in:

CALIFORNIA: In California’s 4th district, Tom McClintock (4 percent LCV score) pulled what has become a familiar stunt by touting support for reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (a legitimately laudable goal) to mask an otherwise terrible environmental record. Slight problem though — McClintock actually said, “I support reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as long as the funds are directed to addressing the multi-billion dollar maintenance backlog and for fire prevention on public land.” That caveat does not reflect LWCF’s mission or purpose and is in fact an attempt to essentially reduce much-needed funds for public lands. McClintock’s greenwashing is just a part-time gig anyway — at a debate last month he bluntly denied climate science.

ILLINOIS: The Associated Press took a look at IL-06’s Pete Roskam’s attempt to greenwash and otherwise mask his real record today, noting: “He’s gone hiking in the woods with students from a college environmental group and visited a local mosque, posting photos of each stop on his Facebook page. The posts don’t mention Roskam’s 7 percent lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters or that he supported Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim countries.” Don’t worry, we’re on it — LCV Victory Fund is running digital ads exposing Roskam’s true environmental record until Election Day.

FLORIDA: Throughout this cycle, Senate candidate Rick Scott has tried to greenwash his record, despite trying to silence and ignore climate change for years. However, with the toxic algae blooms and red tide at the top of voters’ minds, Scott is still trying to show that he’s an environmentalist deep down in order to try to win a competitive Senate race. That’s why we have organizers on the ground ensuring voters know that Scott denies climate change and is just trying to pull a fast one.

ALSO IN FLORIDA, our state-affiliate continues to push back hard on gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis’ attempts to claim enviro-cred despite his 2 percent LCV lifetime score.

VIRGINIA: In a debate this week, Representative Scott Taylor (VA-02) claimed to be a champion for the Chesapeake Bay. However, while in office, he has consistently voted against clean water and action to fight climate change. There is no way Taylor, who has earned an abysmal 6 percent lifetime LCV score, can deceive voters by greenwashing his record of siding with polluters.

NEVADA: In a new ad out this week from Nevada Families First (an affiliate of the Democratic Governors Association), Nevada gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt was called out for trying to “keep it quiet” that he helped block an investigation into Big Oil.

WASHINGTON: In a debate between Dino Rossi and Kim Schrier in Washington’s 8th congressional district, Rossi attempted to mislead voters about his environmental record, including greatly exaggerating recognition from our state affiliate from over a dozen years ago.

HERE ARE THE FACTS: “It’s as simple as this: Dino Rossi’s Washington Conservation Voters’ lifetime score on our Scorecard is 31 percent — and for 2017, it plummeted to zero,” said Shannon Murphy, President of Washington Conservation Voters. “That means that last year alone Rossi voted to undermine renewable energy laws, weaken toxic cleanup protections, bypass environmental protections and more. This just isn’t the record of a pro-conservation candidate. No amount of political spin is going to change that.”

WISCONSIN: While some candidates are trying to greenwash their records, others are challenging the incumbent for their lack of leadership on environmental issues. This week, Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers called out Governor Scott Walker for not believing in climate change, and promised he would be a leader in fighting climate change, including meeting the Paris Climate Agreement’s targets in the state.

TURN UP AND TURN OUT: LCV Victory Fund and the United Steelworkers (USW Works) on Monday announced an expansion of $2.8 million invested in the joint New American Jobs Fund. This is in addition to the $3.1 million announced earlier this year. In the last push to the election, the program will start voter turnout work in Florida, expand their efforts to mobilize voters in Arizona, Ohio and Montana.

WE HAVE OUR (SENATE) DOZEN: LCV Victory Fund’s iconic Dirty Dozen list has officially named its dozen – the twelve candidates with some of the most anti-environmental records running for the Senate this year. As a reminder, we’ve already named Rick Scott, Dean Heller, Matt Rosendale, Corey Stewart, Marsha Blackburn, Lou Barletta, Jim Renacci, Jim Newberger, and Martha McSally to the list. This week, we named our final three candidates to our Senate Dirty Dozen:

TED CRUZ: Cruz is a notorious climate denier, who has taken millions of dollars from the oil and gas industry, and has one of the worst environmental records in the Senate – a pathetic 3 percent lifetime score on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard. Need we say more?

LEAH VUKMIR: The Wisconsin Senate candidate challenging environmental champion, Senator Tammy Baldwin, was named to the list for refusing to stand up to Donald Trump’s attacks on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. And, as a state senator, Vukmir relentlessly put polluters over people, over public health, and over clean air and clean water.

ERIC BRAKEY: As a state senator in Maine, Brakey had the worst environmental record in the chamber. He been consistently opposed to commonsense environmental protections, including being the lone vote against a measure that would protect firefighters from toxic pollutants.

THAT’S TWELVE FOR THE HOUSE, TOO: Earlier this year, LCV Victory Fund announced the inaugural House Dirty Dozen. We’ve already named Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48), Diane Harkey (CA-49), Mike Coffman (CO-06), Rod Blum (IA-01), Kevin Yoder (KS-03), Jason Lewis (MN-02), Tom MacArthur (NJ-03), and Barbara Comstock (VA-10) to the list. And this week, we named the final four candidates to round out the House Dirty Dozen:

MARK HARRIS (NC-09): Harris was added to the list because Harris called climate change “not a fact” and said the federal government shouldn’t address the biggest challenge of our generation. Watch our TV ad calling him out.

MIMI WALTERS (CA-45): Walters has earned a dismal 4 percent LCV lifetime score by voting for nearly all of the anti-environmental bills brought to the House floor. Yet Walters has attempted to hide her anti-environmental record, going so far as signing onto a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown in August — while wildfires were raging close to her district — stating they were due in part to climate change and calling for action, despite repeatedly voting against climate action just earlier this summer.

YVETTE HERREL (NM-02): Running for Rep. Steve Pearce’s open seat as he runs for Governor (where Pearce has earned himself a spot of the Dirty Dozen in the States list), Herrell brings many of the same concerning environmental positions. As a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, Herrell voted for every anti-environment measure in 2018 and has earned a Conservation Voters New Mexico lifetime score of 14 percent — which sunk to zero this past session. Perhaps most obtrusive, Herrell proposed an extreme attack on New Mexico’s public lands that could result in national parks being sold off to private developers.

LENA EPSTEIN (MI-11) The former chair of the Trump campaign in Michigan, Epstein has shown unwavering support for Trump and his toxic agenda, going so far as to say “I will be behind President Trump 100 percent.” Like the pro-polluter president, Epstein has dismissed the scientific consensus of man-made climate change. In a Republican primary debate when asked about climate change, Epstein responded with flatout climate denial, declaring “I do not believe in man-made global warming.”

HITTING THE (GREEN) AIRWAVES: As part of our at least $60 million investment in the 2018 midterm elections, LCV Victory Fund and our state partners launched several ad campaigns this week in races where the environment is on the ballot:

TWO FOR TUESDAY: In addition to our NC-09 ad calling out Dirty Dozen member Mark Harris, LCV Victory Fund also announced a $400,000 TV ad campaign against congressman David Young (IA-03). While serving in Congress, Young allowed big companies to release toxic pollutants in our air and water, while gutting protections for people with pre-existing health conditions. Watch the Young ad here.

THREE FOR THURSDAY: LCV Victory Fund unveiled a $567,000 digital ad campaign to ensure voters know that Reps. Pete Sessions (TX-32), Jason Lewis (MN-02) and Randy Hultgren (IL-14) have sided with practically every single one of Trump’s attacks on our environment and public health. Watch the clips here: “Bad Math”; “Toxic Votes”; “Valuable”; and “Damage”.

FOUR FOR FRIDAY: LCV Victory Fund announced a partnership this morning with Priorities USA Action to launch a $300,000 get-out-the-vote digital ad campaign to reach young people and people of color in four U.S. House districts. The ads, intended to increase voter turnout, will run in CA-10, IL-14, TX-23 and TX-32. Watch “This is America.”

STATES: This week our state affiliates were also busy taking over the airwaves.

Chispa Arizona PAC launched a new initiative to support Kiana Sears and Sandra Kennedy in the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) races, hitting the airwaves with a television ad endorsing both candidates and rolling out a bilingual digital and radio campaign to educate Arizonans about the race and what is at stake. These ads are part of a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of the ACC across diverse Arizona constituencies and support Sears and Kennedy. View the ad here.

CVNM Verde Voters Fund also launched a $300,000 ad buy, exposing New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands candidate Pat Lyons’ record of siding with campaign contributors, specifically those in the oil and gas industry, over ensuring New Mexicans maintain access to public lands. The ad, “Shell Game” will run statewide on broadcast, cable and satellite television.

Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund released new TV and radio ads against climate science-denying candidate for governor Shawn Moody. The $570,000 ad buy will run statewide for two weeks. Watch the TV ad here, and listen to the radio ad here. The TV and radio ads are part of a multi-layered campaign that also includes $500,000 in digital advertising and direct mail.

TAKING IT INTO OUR OWN HANDS: In order to fill the leadership vacuum in Washington, voters in states like Florida and Washington have put environmental issues directly on the ballot through ballot initiatives, giving them a chance to protect our air, water and secure a sustainable future. These ballot initiatives range from banning offshore drilling in Florida to a referendum on a tax on polluters in Washington state, and voters will have a choice to directly fight back against elected officials who have supported rolling back protections for clean water, air and public lands while putting our health at risk.

DENIAL HOUR: Trump appeared on 60 Minutes this past weekend and Leslie Stahl pressed him on climate change. Closing out the same week of the IPCC’s dire report on the need for urgent action on climate change and the same week that Hurricane Michael ripped through the Florida Panhandle, Trump again denied climate science. He also falsely claimed that the United States would “lose millions and millions of jobs” if we acted on climate change, when not acting is hurting middle class families, their health, their access to clean water and clean air.

DENYING SCIENCE (AGAIN): Stahl also told Trump how his own scientists at NASA and NOAA have acknowledged that climate change is caused by humans. However, he tried to deny it and said “we have scientists that disagree.” Well, in a Bloomberg piece this week, many scientists reiterated loud and clear: there is “zero reason to think that climate change will reverse itself.

BLOCKING SCIENCE (AGAIN): This week the EPA decided to discontinue a scientific panel containing 20 experts in microscopic air particle pollutants. Next year the board will no longer be able to advise the EPA on decisions related to clean air guidelines that protect our respiratory health and well-being. These ruthless decisions that allow polluters to impact our health will hurt our most vulnerable, including our children.

NO BEER HERE: Drowning our sorrows in a cold one could get way more expensive. According to a new study, consumers may have to pay double the price on beer as they do now because of global warming’s impact on barley production. It is safe to say that if severe climate actions aren’t immediately taken, beer won’t be the only product that experiences a massive price increase

TUNE IN TONIGHT: There are two exciting debates tonight! Jacky Rosen will take on Dirty Dean Heller in the Nevada Senate debate and Tammy Baldwin will take on Leah Vukmir in the Wisconsin Senate debate (Tony Evers and Scott Walker will also be debating in the Wisconsin gubernatorial debate tonight). Make sure to tune in!



TONIGHT — Nevada and Wisconsin Senate debates

NOVEMBER 6 — Election Day!



Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters,, and LCV Victory Fund,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.