Environmental activists have taken their campaign for climate change legislation to the states, prodding Senators with television and radio ads and trying to gin up grass-roots support with direct-mail pieces.
The effort is leading up to meetings Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has set up with committee chairmen and the Democratic Caucus on energy.
The Environmental Defense Action Fund has a radio ad up in 14 states, targeting 24 Senators this week. The $250,000 ad buy is targeting Senators such as Wisconsin Democrats Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, urging them to support climate change legislation introduced by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.).
The ads focus on each Senator's stance on clean energy, and they promote the American Power Act as "the chance to do something about it."
"We face a moment of decision, a moment to put words into action," the narrator says. "Senator Feingold, continue to lead. ... Let's focus on passing comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation."
The EDAF is also in the midst of a nine-part mailing pushing climate change legislation. The last piece is set to go out Thursday.
Republicans for Environmental Protection and the Truman National Security Project have also teamed up for a $3 million bipartisan television campaign. The ad, which is running in 16 states on local and cable networks, is jointly sponsored by the conservative and progressive-leaning groups.
"The message is, We need to solve our energy problems and we need to get beyond the bickering and do a balanced and broad-based legislation that will address all of our needs,'" REP's David Jenkins said.
The TV ads are running in states such as Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Virginia, Alaska and Florida.
"We're trying to help voters in states where we have Senators in play to help the voters in those states really understand what's at stake here," Jenkins said.
REP is also running radio ads on conservative talk stations in five states — Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia and Alaska. The ads use quotes from former President Ronald Reagan talking about environmental stewardship.
Jenkins said both the TV and radio ads will be up for two weeks, after which they will evaluate how to move forward with further ads.