Enviros Launch Offensive Against Blanche Lincoln

| Tue Feb. 16, 2010 4:44 PM EST

The environmental backlash against Arkansas Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln continues, as Sierra Club on Tuesday released new radio ads in the state objecting to her support for an effort to block climate regulations.

The 60-second ads target her co-sponsorship of a measure to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. "In these tough times, we need strong leaders to stand up to special interests, and help get our economy back on track," say the ads, titled "Choosing Sides." "But now, instead of standing up for Arkansas' future, Senator Blanche Lincoln is co-sponsoring legislation to roll back the Clean Air Act laws that protect us from polluters putting poison into the air we breathe."

Environmentalists have launched an offensive against Lincoln in recent weeks. The League of Conservation Voters last month began campaigning against her reelection bid. But Lincoln has also aggressively fought off the allegations, calling LCV a "liberal" and "extremist" group. In response to the Sierra Club ads, Lincoln's spokesman told the Washington Post that she "acted on behalf of Arkansas workers, employers and consumers to protect them from burdensome regulation," and pointing an industry lawsuit challenging the EPA's finding that greenhouse gases are a threat to public health.

The Sierra Club fired back a response. "We called the ad 'Choosing Sides' for a reason--it's time for Blanche Lincoln to choose between Washington lobbyists and special interests or the interests of her constituents," said Josh Dorner, a spokesman for the group. "From her response, it's clear that--as we feared--she has chosen to side with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Big Oil, polluters, and other extreme right-wing, anti-science groups instead of the job-creating clean energy businesses and natural gas industry in her own state. It's unfortunate that Senator Lincoln would put these special interests ahead of protecting the health and welfare of Arkansans and all Americans--and we hope she'll reconsider."