Evangelicals Support EPA Mercury Air Regulations

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The Evangelical Environmental Network launched a new multi-state ad campaign yesterday urging lawmakers to support U.S. EPA regulations on mercury and air toxics.

The $150,000 campaign, including radio ads and billboards in seven states, follows a September campaign in which the organization targeted a trio of Republican lawmakers opposed to the regulations.

The new radio ads target Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio). Even though several of those lawmakers are avowed supporters of abortion rights, the group described them all as “pro-life or sensitive to pro-life concerns.”

In the one-minute spots, Tracey Bianchi, a Chicago-area pastor, echoes the September ads, stating: “As an evangelical mom and pastor I believe that every life is a precious gift from God and I expect members of Congress who say they are pro-life to use their power to protect that life, especially the unborn.”

In the version of the ad airing in Michigan, Bianchi continues: “That’s why I am counting on Senators Levin and Stabenow to defend the EPA’s ability to protect the unborn from mercury pollution. The EPA’s mercury regulations were created specifically to protect the unborn from the devastating impacts of mercury which causes permanent brain damage in the unborn and infants.”

In each version, the ad concludes by asking listeners to thank the lawmaker named “and let them know you support continued efforts to keep the unborn safe from mercury pollution.”

The radio spots will air on Christian, country and news radio stations, according to the EEN.

Billboards purchased in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Kaptur’s Ohio district carry similar messages, featuring the profile of a fetus and the statement “Thank you for defending life.”

The only negative ad included in the campaign is a billboard in GOP Rep. Bob Latta’s Ohio district. It features the same image but states: “Dear Congressman Latta, Your lack of support for the EPA’s mercury regulations harms me and millions of others. Please defend life.”

Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter   Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011