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BP’s Efforts to Shape Curriculum in American Schools

1:48 pm in Uncategorized by nrdcactionfund

By Matt Howes

Originally posted on The MarkUp.

The Sacramento Bee reported yesterday that “BP, the energy giant responsible for the largest offshore oil spill in history, helped develop [California’s] framework for teaching more than 6 million students about the environment.”

That’s right; the same people who brought you the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster are helping to shape the education of millions of students. In fact, the environmental education curriculum will be used in “kindergarten through 12th-grade classes in more than 1,000 school districts statewide.”

The thought of BP – or any big oil company – playing a role in designing education on environmental issues makes me very nervous. In California, we’ve got Texas oil companies spending millions of dollars trying to kill our landmark clean energy and climate law. That’s bad enough; we certainly don’t need a British oil company writing our kids’ education materials.

Dollie Forney, a mother of three from San Jose said, “This is outrageous. Now our schools and officials are so cash-strapped and unimaginative and desperate we are allowing Big Oil to write our children’s curriculum? "

The fact is, over the years, BP has rightly earned the title of having “the worst safety and environmental record of any oil company operating in America.” Of course, that’s not much of an honor, especially when you consider how BP came by its miserable environmental reputation. This includes being slapped with “the two largest fines in OSHA history — $87.43 million and $21.36 million — for willful negligence that led to the deaths of 15 workers and injured 170 others in a March 2005 refinery explosion in Texas.” BP also “agreed to pay a $50 million fine and plead guilty to a felony violation of the Clean Air Act, and was fined “a total of $21 million for manipulating the California electricity market, Enron-style.”

It’s not a pretty picture. All of which raises the question, why would anyone even think of giving this company a say in designing education materials on the environment, of all topics? As Lisa Graves of the Center for Media and Democracy says, “I’d hate to see how a section in future textbooks mentioning the BP oil spill will look.”

Congressional Candidates’ Views on Clean Energy, Climate Change: CA-11

10:11 am in Uncategorized by nrdcactionfund

Originally posted on The MarkUp.

This is the fourteenth article in a continuing series by the NRDC Action Fund on the environmental stances of candidates in key races around the country.

After the Gold Rush, but before Hollywood and the Silicon Valley, California’s Central Valley became one of the most prosperous agricultural areas in the world. Recent water shortages have challenged this legacy; however, fruit, vegetable and particularly cotton, remain the driving force in the region’s economy. The Central Valley may be undergoing a demographic shift of late, but it’s not due to agriculture’s decline – it’s because high home prices in the Bay Area are driving middle-income workers to Tracy and Stockton. The 11th Congressional District, which includes much of this area as well as some Bay Area suburbs and areas further south, is historically conservative. And, while the region remains the most Republican part of the Bay Area that is not saying very much. Currently, Democrat Jerry McNerney represents the 11th district in the U.S. House.

Rep. McNerney came into office in 2006 after defeating arch anti-environment Republican Richard Pombo. At the time, Pombo was a seven-term incumbent with a daunting campaign war-chest, and the number one target of the environmental community. As chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, Pombo spearheaded unsuccessful efforts to weaken the Endangered Species Act, drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve and to lift the ban on offshore oil drilling. In stark contrast, McNerney was a renewable energy consultant and entrepreneur who made clean energy the signature issue of his campaign. Environmental groups, like Defenders of Wildlife, campaigned fervently on McNerney’s behalf, and his election over Pombo remains one of our community’s signature victories of the past decade.

Not surprisingly given this background, McNerney has been a champion for the environment during his first two terms in Congress. According to the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) he has rarely missed an opportunity to take the environmental vote on key issues, scoring a 93% in the last session of Congress. In endorsing his current reelection bid, LCV President Gene Karpinski said that McNerney “has been an invaluable leader in championing clean energy jobs and protecting our natural treasures… As a wind energy engineer and father of an Air Force veteran, Congressman McNerney knows from experience how important clean energy is to our economy and our national security.”

Unlike Rep. McNerney, who voted in favor of the historic American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) – the first climate bill to pass a chamber of Congress – his opponent this November, David Harmer, thinks, “global warming is more a religion than a science.” And in April, Harmer told a tea party rally, absurdly, that climate legislation would enable the government to regulate every time they exhale. With Harmer misrepresenting both the unassailable science of global warming and reasonable solutions like ACES, you have to wonder if he’d be another Pombo if he ever got to Congress.

The NRDC Action Fund believes that it is important for the public in general, and the voters of specific Congressional districts, be aware of this information as they weigh their choices for November.

Poor Reporting on Front Group’s Shady Efforts

10:56 am in Uncategorized by nrdcactionfund

By Matt Howes

Originally posted on The MarkUp.

It’s hard to think how a recent article in the Akron Beacon Journal could have left out any more relevant information. The Journal is a reputable paper, and so we were surprised by the article’s flaws.

The article, entitled "Hundreds rally against taxes on oil and natural gas," has several key omissions including:

  • The article says that there were about 400 energy advocates, and that "Most arrived in four buses that delivered them from the Canton area. One arrived from Mount Vernon." What the article failed to mention, is that at least some of these buses were paid for by oil companies (or their front groups) and were filled with oil company staff. ThinkProgress has a great video clip about it here.

I’d encourage the Akron Beacon Journal to improve its reporting in the future.

Additional Reading:
Koch-Funded Oil Rally Calls Global Warming A ‘Hoax,’ Dismisses Oil Spill, And Attacks Democrats

Congressional Candidates’ Views on Clean Energy, Climate Change: IN-09

1:01 pm in Uncategorized by nrdcactionfund

Originally posted on The MarkUp.

This is the thirteenth article in a continuing series by the NRDC Action Fund on the environmental stances of candidates in key races around the country.

Today, we examine Indiana’s 9th Congressional District, covering the southeastern and south-central portions of the state, and including Bloomington and the Indiana suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky. The district is heavily rural and agricultural, birthplace of singer John Mellancamp, famous for his song “Small Town.” The district also includes larger, urban areas, with employers such as Indiana University, General Electric, Hoosier Energy and Otis Elevator. Since January 2007, the 9th Congressional District has been represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Democrat Baron Hill. This year, Hill is being challenged by Republican Todd Young, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the Deputy Prosecutor in Orange County.

On clean energy and environmental issues, Rep. Hill has a strong record. In 2009, for instance, Hill received a solid, 86% rating from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and a 93% rating from Environment America. Hill voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), an extraordinarily important piece of environmental legislation which the New York Times described as “the first time either house of Congress had approved a bill meant to curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change.” At the time of his “aye” vote, Hill stated that he was “proud of both [his] support for and work done on the [legislation].” Hill added that he worked with “other like-minded Members…to get the electricity sector 90% of their allowances for free.” Finally, Hill pointed out his efforts to ensure that “manufacturing industries will be compensated for their cost of compliance with these new standards.”

In sharp contrast, Todd Young pledges to “vote against cap and trade bills that will raise our energy bills.” Young falsely attacks Rep. Hill, claiming that Hill “wants to raise your energy bill $1,800 a year.” Young also wrongly claims that ACES would “dramatically raise the cost of electricity and gasoline for all Americans, kill jobs in Indiana and have no appreciable effect on climate change.”

In fact, as an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office concluded in June 2009, “the net economy-wide cost of the [greenhouse gases] cap-and-trade program would be about $22 billion—or about $175 per household.” That’s just one-tenth of the cost figure Todd Young is falsely putting out there. In addition, that $175 estimate doesn’t even include “the potential benefits associated with any changes in the climate that would be avoided as a result of the legislation.” Those benefits could end up being enormous, especially given the potential impact of more severe weather on American agriculture. Finally, as a study by the University of Illinois, Yale University and the University of California concluded, a bill with strong energy efficiency incentives would create a net of 1.9 million jobs. Those are the facts, contrary to whatever Todd Young is claiming.

The NRDC Action Fund believes that it is important for the public in general, and the voters of specific Congressional districts, be aware of this information as they weigh their choices for November.

Congressional Candidates’ Views on Clean Energy, Climate Change: NM-02

1:35 pm in Uncategorized by nrdcactionfund

Originally posted on The MarkUp.

This is the twelfth article in a continuing series by the NRDC Action Fund on the environmental stances of candidates in key races around the country.

New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District covers the southern part of the state, including Little Texas (as the southeast is known), Hatch Valley and Las Cruces (the state’s 2nd largest city). The 2nd Congressional District is a diverse region, nearly 50% Hispanic, which relies on oil, mining and agriculture. Democrat Harry Teague, a former oil executive himself, has represented the district in the U.S. House since 2008. In November, Teague will face former Congressman Steve Pearce, who in 2008 left the House after three terms to run unsuccessfully for the Senate.

Energy and climate legislation is front and center in this race. In his campaign announcement, Pearce even cited Teague’s vote for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) – an extraordinarily important piece of environmental legislation, which the New York Times described as “the first time either house of Congress had approved a bill meant to curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change” – as triggering his decision to run. Pearce also claimed (falsely) that Teague “embraced a reckless set of policies that directly jeopardize our economy and threatens future generations.” Specifically, Pearce argued that ACES will “hit families with as much as $1,500 a year in higher energy costs,” and “destroy jobs in New Mexico’s clean energy sector.”

Since Pearce didn’t say where he got those numbers, it’s tough to address them directly, but independent analyses of ACES indicate that such claims are way off. For instance, the nonpartisan experts at the Congressional Budget Office calculated the cost of ACES at $175 per household; and collaborative research by the by the University of Illinois, Yale University and the University of California showed that ACES would create as many as 1.9 million new jobs over the next ten years.

Pearce’s anti-environmental streak is nothing new. During his previous stint in Congress, he earned an abysmal 3% rating from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV). In comparison, Teague received an 86% rating during his first year in Congress.

On global warming, Pearce believes that the science is “crap” (a direct quote), that “climate scientists should be questioned more thoroughly because of the stolen e-mails,” and that “[i]f they don’t believe it, why should the rest of us be penalized in our standard of living for something that can’t be validated?” In fact, there is overwhelming, “undeniable” evidence that anthropogenic global warming is not only taking place, but is accelerating. As to the so-called “climategate,” this supposed “scandal” has been thoroughly refuted. Even if Steve Pearce doesn’t “believe” it has.

As if all this isn’t bad enough, Pearce stands with the radically conservative Americans for Prosperity in opposing climate legislation. As The New Yorker magazine explained in a recent expose, this industry front group was founded in 2004 by David Koch. David and his brother Charles, as you may know, are the nefarious, oil billionaires who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars promoting their hard-line brand of libertarianism. In addition to eliminating all taxes, one of the Koch’s top priorities has been undermining environmental regulations. In fact, as The New Yorker points out, “from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change." The sad truth is that Steve Pearce is exactly the type of candidate the Koch’s would be proud to support.

The NRDC Action Fund believes that it is important for the public in general, and the voters of specific Congressional districts, be aware of this information as they weigh their choices for November.

Billionaire Polluters Pay a Million to Foul California’s Air–Who’s Behind Prop 23?

9:10 am in Uncategorized by nrdcactionfund

By Ann Notthoff

Originally posted on The MarkUp.

Of one thing you can be certain: when the Koch Brothers ride into town, dirty money follows. This is particularly bad news for California as the Koch Brothers arrived last week to join other out of state polluters paying big bucks to sully the air of the Golden State.

The two billionaire siblings, David and Charles Koch, own Koch Industries, a Wichita-based oil conglomerate that maintains refineries in three states and 4,000 miles of pipeline.

As energy companies go, Koch Industries is something of a stealth entity. The Center for Public Integrity recently completed a major report on the company, noting that “Koch Industries could be the biggest oil company you have never heard of.” While it is little known to the public, its estimated revenues in 2009 were about $40 billion, making it bigger than AT&T, Microsoft or Merrill Lynch.

Koch Industries has been named as one of the country’s top ten air polluters in a University of Massachusetts / Amherst report. As reported by the New Yorker and the Los Angeles Times, the Koch (pronounced "coke") brothers are strident in their denial of climate science findings, opposing any and all attempts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and move the nation to a sustainable energy path.

Moreover, they’re giving millions of dollars to groups fighting environmental protection and the dissemination of accurate, peer-reviewed climate data. Koch Industries is also the biggest oil industry contributor of campaign money to federal and state candidates.

Now the Kochs have set their sights on AB 32, California’s landmark clean energy legislation. A bipartisan bill supported by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic leaders, AB 32 will create thousands of clean energy sector jobs, fund alternative energy R&D, cut global warming pollution and establish California at the cutting edge of the clean energy revolution that is transforming the global economy.

That doesn’t sit well with the Kochs, of course. They make their money in dirty high-carbon fuels and they, and they perceive any shift toward sustainable energy as a threat to their bottom line. Along with Valero and Tesoro Corp., the Kochs have funded Proposition 23, a Trojan horse of an initiative that would derail AB 32. Proposition 23 is a bald-faced attempt to assure the continued dominance of the fossil fuel industry. If passed in November, it will effectively kill AB 32.

So far, more than $8 million has been pumped into the Proposition 23 campaign. Of that amount, 97 percent has come from oil interests, and 89 percent came from out-of-state companies. Last week, the Kochs kicked another $1 million into the Proposition 23 kitty, as did Tesoro.

Proposition 23, therefore, is not a simple state proposition. It has national ramifications, and it could well determine the direction of the country’s energy policy. California has a history of being America’s evolutionary engine for technology: witness Apple, Intel, Google, the thousands of other firms that have shaped the way we work, play, interact – even think.

Clean tech is no exception. Through AB 32, we have established a template that the rest of the world can follow.

Luckily Californians know better than to buy the snake oil these out-of-state dirty energy companies are selling. People from all over the political spectrum are lining up to fight the measure.

For example, San Francisco investor Tom Steyer and President Reagan’s former Secretary of State George Shultz are co-chairing of the No on 23 Campaign, which aims to keep oil industry carpetbaggers out of California’s public policy. But they can’t do it alone – we need everyone’s help. Join us at: http://www.stopdirtyenergyprop.com/.

And show up at the polls on November 2 to send the Kochs and their cronies packing. In the process, we can send a message to Dirty Oil that the clean energy economy is here to stay.

Congressional Candidates’ Views on Clean Energy, Climate Change: IA-03

11:01 am in Uncategorized by nrdcactionfund

Originally posted on The MarkUp.

This is the eleventh article in a continuing series by the NRDC Action Fund on the environmental stances of candidates in key races around the country.

Today, we examine Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, stretching from Des Moines to the Cedar Falls-Waterloo area. The district’s economy is heavily agricultural, but also has a large financial and insurance sector component, with Des Moines referred to as “the Hartford of the West” for that reason. Since 1997, Democrat Leonard Boswell has represented the 3rd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. This year, Boswell is being challenged by Republican State Senator Brad Zaun.

So far in this campaign, Boswell has strongly defended his record and has attacked Zaun for “his opposition to Iowa’s biofuels industry, which employs thousands of farmers and factory workers in the state.” For his part, Zaun has attempted to tie Boswell to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama, while running a series entitled, “Fourteen Reasons Why We Need a New Congressman.”

On clean energy and environmental issues, Rep. Boswell has an excellent record. In 2009, for instance, Boswell received a near-perfect 93% rating from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), as well as a 100% rating from Environment America. Boswell voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), an extraordinarily important piece of environmental legislation which the New York Times described as “the first time either house of Congress had approved a bill meant to curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change.” At the time of his vote for ACES, Boswell said that the legislation “would harness the most innovative workforce in the world to create a clean energy future, creating millions of jobs in the process.” Boswell added that “[e]nergy independence is vital to our national security and economic future, and this legislation advances this goal while confronting the serious challenge of climate change.”

For his part, Brad Zaun received a mediocre rating of 42% on the environment from the Iowa Sierra Club in 2009-2010. In this video, Zaun declares, “I question global warming” and claims – incorrectly – that ACES will “cost businesses and all of us that have homes millions of dollars.” In addition, Zaun claims that coal-fired power is far more economical than wind power (certainly not true if you count environmental and other “externalities”), brags that he’s being “compared to this one lady that says ‘drill, baby, drill,’” and argues that “we need to take advantage of our resources.” On his website under “Energy and Natural Resources,” Zaun argues that America “must increase domestic oil and gas supply by exploring and utilizing more of the energy resources we have at home.” Message to Brad Zaun: we saw the results of that approach in the Gulf of Mexico this past summer!

On the other hand, Zaun has not joined most of his fellow Republican candidates this year and signed the Americans for Prosperity “No Climate Tax Pledge.” Zaun also advocates “exploring alternative sources of energy…including nuclear, wind, solar and other alternative energies.” And, Zaun says, “We must be careful stewards of all of our precious natural resources by always avoiding strategies which unnecessarily damage our landscape or environment or pose health risks to our citizens.” That’s all well and good. But advocating for coal-fired power, “drill, baby, drill,” and global warming skepticism is a very funny way to accomplish those goals.

The NRDC Action Fund believes that it is important for the public in general, and the voters of specific Congressional districts, be aware of this information as they weigh their choices for November.

Congressional Candidates’ Views on Clean Energy, Climate Change: FL-24

8:40 am in Uncategorized by nrdcactionfund

Originally posted on The MarkUp.

This is the tenth article in a continuing series by the NRDC Action Fund on the environmental stances of candidates in key races around the country.

Today, we examine Florida’s 24th Congressional District, on the east coast of Florida and covering portions of Brevard (including Titusville), Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties. With Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center, this area is known as the “Space Coast,” and Titusville is nicknamed “Space City, USA.” Since January 2009, the 24th congressional district has been represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Democrat Suzanne Kosmas. This year, Rep. Kosmas is being challenged by State Representative Sandy Adams, who won a narrow, upset victory in the Republican primary in August over former Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel and former Ruth’s Chris Steak House CEO Craig Miller.

So far in this campaign, Kosmas has stressed her work in Congress is “to bring real, common-sense solutions to Central Florida, including extending the life of the Space Shuttle, funding the new Orlando VA Medical Center and cutting taxes for small businesses.” For her part, Adams has argued that “record spending” and “debt are enslaving our children and grandchildren.” Adams also has asserted that “[l]iberal special interests, hostile to American traditions, are systematically stripping our country of the ideals that make us exceptional.”

On clean energy and environmental issues, Rep. Kosmas has a superb voting record. In 2009, for instance, Kosmas received a perfect, 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), and an 83% rating from Environment America. Kosmas voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) , an extraordinarily important piece of environmental legislation which the New York Times described as “the first time either house of Congress had approved a bill meant to curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change.” In April 2010, the LCV Action Fund endorsed Kosmas for reelection, stating that during her first term in office, “Representative Kosmas has quickly become a champion of legislation to create jobs and make America a leader in building the 21st century clean energy economy.”

In contrast, in 2008, the Florida LCV gave Sandy Adams a 39.3 rating on environmental issues. Even worse, Adams has signed the Americans for Prosperity “No Climate Tax Pledge” to “oppose legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” Along these same lines, in early 2010, Adams sponsored a successful Florida House measure, urging Congress not to pass “cap and trade” legislation. Also, in this video from July 2010, Adams said that “cap and trade” really was “truly cap and tax” and vowed, “we have got to stand up…and fight to get our Congress back.” In reality, of course, a comprehensive clean energy and climate bill would create a lot of jobs and cost households very little, so Sandy Adams is simply wrong when she disparages “cap and trade” as being nothing more than a new “tax.” Also, it’s pretty bold for Sandy Adams to be strongly against taking climate action, given that she wants to represent a district that could be partially underwater – at least if you believe the scientists – by the end of the century. Perhaps she might want to reconsider her stance on this issue?

The NRDC Action Fund believes that it is important for the public in general, and the voters of specific Congressional districts, be aware of this information as they weigh their choices for November.

Congressional Candidates’ Views on Clean Energy, Climate Change: PA-11

10:21 am in Uncategorized by nrdcactionfund

Originally posted on The Mark Up.

This is the seventh in a continuing series by the NRDC Action Fund on the environmental stances of candidates in key races around the country.

Northeast Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District, including Scranton, Wilkes-Barres and the Poconos resorts, flourished in the 19th century after the discovery of anthracite coal – the highest carbon type of coal available. Coal mining drove development in the region until the 1940s, when demand shifted to cheaper alternatives like oil and natural gas. Today, coal mines are more of a tourist attraction than an economic driver, and Scranton is best known as the setting for NBC’s The Office.

For the past 25 years, the 11th district has been represented in the U.S. House by Democrat Paul Kanjorski. Throughout his time in Congress, Rep. Kanjorski has typically voted the right way on environmental issues. Last year, for example, he received a perfect score from the League of Conservation Votes, which means that he voted for the environment at every opportunity. This includes voting for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), the first climate bill to pass a chamber in Congress. After the vote he said, “We need to begin the process of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, creating clean energy jobs in America, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”

In November, Kanjorski will be challenged for the third time by Republican Lou Barletta, the mayor of Hazleton. The Cook Report ranks this race as a "Tossup." Barletta gained notoriety in 2006 when, as Hazleton’s mayor, he passed one of the nation’s most sweeping anti-immigration laws. He’s had little to say about environmental issues, however, during his multiple Congressional runs, and what he has said is less than encouraging. He wrongly claims that ACES will “stifl[e] the economic recovery and jeopardiz[e] millions of jobs.” The truth is quite the opposite. According to in-depth modeling built on collaborative research by the University of Illinois, Yale University and the University of California, ACES has the potential to boost GDP by more than $100 billion, and create 1.9 million jobs.

Barletta has also been a steadfast proponent of offshore drilling and dirty fuels, like liquid coal. And, after the BP blowout, he posted on his blog that “[a] leaking oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico does not justify the sinking of billions of dollars in a cap-and-tax scheme…” Actually, putting a price on carbon pollution is critical toward breaking our dependence on oil. We need to recognize that it is because we have not engaged in a serious effort to reduce our oil use that we’ve been forced to pursue petroleum products in sensitive areas like the Gulf’s deep waters. Whoever wins this race needs to help lead eastern PA into a new energy future.

The NRDC Action Fund believes that it is important for the public in general, and the voters of specific Congressional districts, be aware of this information as they weigh their choices for November.

Congressional Candidates’ Views on Clean Energy, Climate Change: OH-15

8:56 am in Uncategorized by nrdcactionfund

This is the sixth article in a continuing series by the NRDC Action Fund on the environmental stances of candidates in key races around the country.

Today, we examine Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, which includes downtown Columbus and parts of neighboring Franklin, Madison and Union counties. Columbus is home to the Ohio State University and has the highest proportion of young professionals, aged 25-34, of any city in the country. In 2008, Mary Jo Kilroy became the first Democrat elected in the district since 1982, when she narrowly (by less than 2,500 votes) defeated Republican Steve Stivers. Kilroy and Stivers will be matched up again this fall.

Since coming to Washington, Rep. Kilroy has consistently voted for environmental protections and moving America to a clean energy economy. In her first year in the House, she received a perfect 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters, which means she voted the right way on every environmental vote. This includes voting for the historic American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), the first climate bill to ever pass in a chamber of Congress. In a statement following the vote, Kilroy said “The clean energy economy is the future of our country and of central Ohio…We are seeing the consequences of not investing in the next big idea with our auto industry. [ACES] secures Ohio’s strong position to make the solar panels and wind turbines that will power our nation in the very near future. It will also benefit Ohio’s agricultural sector, which can provide the plant material needed for the bio mass products that boost energy production.” She added, “This bill puts the central consumers first and insulates them from shifts in prices. For less than a trip to the movie theater, Americans are going to create 1.7 million (jobs), end the stranglehold foreign countries have on energy and work to save our planet.”

In sharp contrast, Steve Stivers falsely calls cap and trade a “job killer” that will lead to higher electricity bills for Ohio families. In reality, strong clean energy and climate legislation would create a net of 1.9 million jobs, according to in-depth study by the University of Illinois, Yale University and the University of California. In Ohio, this would mean 61,000 new, good-paying jobs created over the next ten years. And, as analysis by the experts in the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office shows, the effect of ACES on electricity bills will be, as Rep. Kilroy said, less than going to the movies once a month.

Stivers doesn’t just stop at opposing clean energy and climate legislation, he also “disagree[s]” with the statement, “Man-made global warming is a scientific fact and immediate action to lower CO2 emissions is necessary to prevent an environmental catastrophe.” And, if denying the unassailable science behind climate change wasn’t enough, Stivers also opposes our right to hold the government accountable in court for protecting our public health and environment.

Stivers’ strong anti-environmental views are not so surprising when you consider the sources of his campaign cash, such as oil and coal services giant Koch Industries, Murray Energy and Rep. Joe Barton’s Texas Freedom PAC. What’s wrong with these companies and PACs?

Koch Industries is privately owned by Charles and David Koch, who, according to Greenpeace, have “quietly funneled [$50 million] to climate-denial front groups that are working to delay policies and regulations aimed at stopping global warming.” Robert Murray, the head of Murray Energy, is an outspoken climate denier, who said in testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works committee that global warming is “one of the biggest con jobs in the history of the Republic.” Murray continued to criticize the legacy of Rachel Carson, saying that “She and her environmental followers killed millions of human beings around the World with the ban on DDT.” Murray concluded by claiming that climate change legislation will “result in no environmental benefit.” Finally, the Texas Freedom PAC is headed by Joe Barton, who infamously apologized to BP, and who also called the BP escrow fund that will pay businesses that lost money because of the Gulf disaster a “$20 billion shakedown.”

These are a few of Stivers’ big donors, all major polluters or supporters of major polluters, which makes you wonder what they think they’re getting for their large donations to the Steve Stivers for Congress campaign.

The NRDC Action Fund believes that it is important for the public in general, and the voters of specific Congressional districts, be aware of this information as they weigh their choices for November.