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NRDC Targets McConnell's Environmental Record in New Campaign

A national group has launched a campaign to highlight Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s environmental record.

The video released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Action Fund highlights the money that “corporate polluters” spent in political contributions to McConnell and other members of Congress. In the first 50 days of McConnell’s leadership, the ad points to McConnell’s support of projects like the Keystone XL pipeline and opposition to federal restrictions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

“The point is really all about accountability,” said NRDC Action FundDirector Heather Taylor-Miesle. “Capitol Hill is not Las Vegas. What happens there should not stay there. Americans need to know what their representatives are doing to their air, their land, their water and kids’ health.”

Taylor-Miesle said the campaign hopes to inform Kentuckians about McConnell’s environmental record. She said the senator’s overwhelming victory in November over challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes doesn’t mean the state’s voters have signed off on his environmental views.

“This isn’t about election season, this is about votes and making sure people know what their politicians are doing,” she said. “Mitch McConnell got elected, but it wasn’t because he was a climate denier.”

Instead of focusing on rolling back environmental protections and passing legislation to permit large oil pipelines, McConnell should look toward moving the country and Kentucky toward the future, Taylor-Miesle said.

The campaign is largely via social media, though Taylor-Miesle said it does include some television airtime in the Washington, D.C., market. A spokesman for McConnell declined to comment.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.