RELEASE: Election 2022 offers hope for continued environmental progress

In a year full of tight Congressional, gubernatorial and other state and local races, the vast majority of ‘green champions’ on Environment America’s select list of endorsements emerged victorious.

For immediate release: Monday, November 21, 2022

Most ‘green champs’ endorsed by Environment America win their races

WASHINGTON — In a year full of tight Congressional, gubernatorial and other state and local races, the vast majority of ‘green champions’ on Environment America’s select list of endorsements emerged victorious. That’s not surprising, given that leading up to election day, in a Washington Post-ABC News poll, more than half of registered voters said climate change was “one of the single most important issues” or “very important” in determining who to vote for in their Congressional election. 

“More than ever, the environment is part of our national conversation, from the halls of Congress to the halls in our homes. Americans voted with that in mind,” said Environment America President Wendy Wendlandt. “Now, across the country, re-elected and newly elected green champions have an opportunity to build on the past two years’ unprecedented achievements for the environment.”

Environment America and its state groups endorsed a wide array of candidates this election cycle — incumbents and newcomers, Democrats, Republicans and an Independent — all of whom the groups chose after considering this two-part question: 

  1. Are the candidates true champions of the environment; and 
  2. Can we count on them to not only vote the right way, but lobby other members of Congress, lead the debate, and forge the agreements that produce results?

In total, Environment America and its state groups endorsed six U.S. Senate candidates, 47 U.S. House candidates, nine gubernatorial candidates and dozens of state and local candidates. The vast majority of those aspirants won, including candidates endorsed by Environment America’s state groups in Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Texas. 

Of those groups, the organization’s Pennsylvania-based group endorsed by far the most candidates — and most of the 60 candidates who that group backed for state and national office won. 

With help from the Environment America Action Fund, PennEnvironment also helped 4,428 Pennsylvanians register to vote with in-person, site-based and college campus programs. In addition, this summer, the groups ran a door-to-door canvassing program in the Philadelphia suburbs to identify voters who would support Shapiro and John Fetterman. The canvassers knocked on  71,954 doors, which led to 10,340 conversations with target voters and ID-ing 9,036 voters likely to vote for these candidates in crucial races. Continuing into the fall, PennEnvironment conducted further “get out the vote” canvassing programs. 

A majority of the candidates that Environment America and its state groups supported at all levels won their elections. However, some came up short, despite being great candidates and taking bold stands on the environment. 

“You can’t win them all, but each election, we see more and more proof that climate change and the environment writ large are driving forces in how Americans vote,” said Wendlandt. “Whether you’re a Republican, Democrat or neither, we all want to sustain or improve the world around us for future generations. And if we keep electing green champions like we did here in 2022, the future is indeed bright.”

Environment America is the national federation of statewide, citizen-based advocacy organizations working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future. 

Environment America Action Fund works to protect our environment by supporting candidates for public office who champion clean air, clean water, wilderness preservation, and strong action to address global warming.  The Environment America Action Fund is a part of the Environment America family of organizations.  

Paid for by Environment America Action Fund, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Contact us at: www.environmentamericaactionfund.org.

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