The Koch brothers have an awful lot of money and they don’t like clean energy. They like coal. They’ve got a lot of it. They’ve been putting their weight behind groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is trying to get rid of net-metering laws and renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) for the past few years. Thus far they’ve thankfully largely failed but they’ve had some successes. Now the other side’s fighting back.
Tom Steyer, a San Francisco businessman and billionaire has already pledged at least $50 million to support NextGen Climate, which supports clean energy like solar power and climate change legislation. Yesterday (May 22) NetGen Climate announced its plans to bring climate change awareness to the forefront. NextGen Climate also is taking the battle directly to the Koch’s. This morning NextGen Climate released a short YouTube video about Steyer’s attempt to debate the Koch’s directly on the issue. Check it out: http://youtu.be/_06miLDEYYo (It’s good for a laugh).
It’s planning on doing this by fighting against candidates for this fall’s midterm elections that it considers science deniers like Colorado’s Cory Gardner, a Republican Senate candidate attempting to unseat Sen. Mark Udall (D) this year. “Fossil fuel development and its adverse health impacts affect Colorado’s most vulnerable communities, yet Senate candidate Cory Gardner—a science denier—has taken hundreds of thousands in donations from fossil fuel companies while voting for their interests,” the organization said.
In all the organization is mounting seven battles in competitive states that could have a wide-ranging impact on the way the U.S. moves forward with climate change and clean energy, including rooftop solar and large-scale solar power across the country. Four of the candidates are running for Senator including Gardner, Iowa’s Joni Ernst, Michigan’s Terry Lynn Land and New Hampshire’s Scott Brown (formerly a Senator in Massachusetts). NextGen also is targeting three Republican governors Rick Scott in Florida, Paul LePage in Maine and Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania, each of whom is seeking reelection.
Each of the candidates is a climate change denier and has acted against the environment in some sense, with many supporting fossil fuels and others eliminating protection for endangered lands and the animals that live within them.
“The debate on climate change is settled: it is here, it is human-caused, and it is already having a devastating impact on our communities, but we need to accelerate the level of political support to address this critical issue before it’s too late,” said Steyer who is NextGen Climate’s founder and president. “This means making politicians feel the heat—in their campaign coffers and at the polls.”Tweet