Environmental groups are poised to spend $85 million this election cycle in what is the "largest electoral program ever" for the green movement, according to a memo circulated among five organizations.
The groups said that the record spending reflected the prominence of climate change as an electoral issue, even as they face "unprecedented spending by the Koch brothers and other polluters." The groups contended their favored candidates have succeeded by painting opponents as extreme for denying or being skeptical of human influence on the climate.
They said the spending represents a coming-of-age moment for the environmental community. Until recently, the groups operated with little collaboration. But now their efforts have grown more sophisticated and their actions more coordinated with groups inside and outside environmental politics, in an effort to maximize their effect on races.
"Our groups demonstrated this cycle that we are a major force in electoral politics in the U.S. At the same time as the capacity for climate groups to run sophisticated electoral programs to scale and defeat climate deniers or those who oppose action has dramatically increased, accepting science is becoming a litmus test for many voters," the memo said.