Corrected 4:30 p.m. | As Democrats seek to promote their climate plan to voters, the national environmental advocacy group LCV Victory Fund is launching its first investment in House races of the 2022 cycle in six battleground House districts.
The $2 million television ad campaign is intended to highlight vulnerable Democrats’ votes for the climate, health care and tax bill that President Joe Biden signed this month and attack their Republican opponents’ records on the environment.
“Environmental champions in the House just voted to lower costs for families, create millions of jobs, and take the strongest climate action in U.S. history — we need to protect these vulnerable Democratic members at all costs,” said Megan Jacobs, the group’s senior national campaign director.
The ads will target Republican Yvette Herrell of New Mexico and Democrats Mike Levin of California, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, Sharice Davids of Kansas, Susan Wild of Pennsylvania and Kim Schrier of Washington. All are in races rated Toss-up by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales, except Levin and Hayes, whose races are rated Likely Democratic.
The ads in California and Washington will run in conjunction with EDF Action Votes. EDF Action Votes is affiliated with the Environmental Defense Fund, as LCV Victory Fund is tied to the League of Conservation Voters.
The spending comes as Democrats are increasing their focus on climate-centered messaging in the final months before the midterm elections.
Last week, the League of Conservation Voters joined Climate Power and Future Forward USA Action — a group focused on rebuilding the American middle class — to launch a $10 million education campaign to frame voters’ understanding of the law.
The so-called Inflation Reduction Act contains provisions to increase investment in clean energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions that Democrats have sought for years, but much of its key changes won’t be felt before voters head to the polls in November.
Republicans have disputed Democrats’ claims that the bill will reduce inflation and have trained their attacks on its tax provisions, which they see as key to their midterm argument that Democrats’ spending has increased prices for the middle class.
Republicans have also pointed to fees for companies that produce methane emissions as a provision in the bill that could raise energy prices. Torunn Sinclair, spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of House Republicans, pointed out that some vulnerable Democrats in districts that are heavily dependent on the oil and gas industry have also raised concerns about the fees.
“Even Democrats agree the provisions in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act will increase gas prices, harm America’s energy independence, and hurt job opportunities,” she said.
Climate change, and the perception of what the Biden administration has done to address it, are deeply partisan issues. Democrats are expected to focus more of their attention during the campaign on the health care provisions of the spending plan, which have more bipartisan support. Still, Democrats see climate change as a key issue to base voters — especially younger generations — who want to see the party enact meaningful legislation to address it.
The first ad, which begins airing in Pennsylvania’s 7th District next week, was provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.
It juxtaposes photographs of Republican Lisa Scheller, Wild’s opponent, against a backdrop of sludge running out of dirty pipes and takes aim at her company, which makes aluminum pigments.
“Lisa Scheller’s record in Pennsylvania is toxic,” a narrator says.
Scheller's campaign spokesperson, Pierce Frauenheim, said the pollution cited in the ad came from a "prior tenant of the facility" that Scheller's company occupies, and called the ad "another example of Susan Wild and her cronies lying about Lisa’s record."
The headline and photo caption of this report have been corrected to reflect that the group funding the ads is LCV Victory Fund.