The National Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) campaign arm launched a six-figure advertising campaign Friday against four House Republicans who voted to permit oil and natural gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
GOP Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Ryan Costello (Pa.), Patrick Meehan (Pa.) and Erik Paulson (Minn.) had each expressed reservations about ANWR drilling in the past, but then voted to pass the controversial GOP tax overhaul last year, which has a provision that authorizes it.
Each lawmaker represents a fairly moderate district, and all but Meehan are running for reelection this year, facing what are likely to be close battles.
“Drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is reckless, and it will cause irreversible damage to one of the last best places on Earth,” Kevin Curtis, executive director of the NRDC Action Fund, said in a statement.
“With their votes, these representatives have handed oil companies a long-sought prize, but they’ve turned their backs on vulnerable Arctic wildlife and the indigenous communities who begged Congress not to spoil their sacred lands,” Curtis said.
Democrats hope to recapture a majority of House seats in this year’s election, and swing districts will be crucial to their battle.