NRDC Action Fund, Environment Ohio Identify 14 Ohio Members of Congress as ‘Dirty Air Villains’ Who Voted Against Clean Air Protections

Media Releases

Link Between Dirty Air Votes and Contributions From Polluters Revealed

Environment Ohio

COLUMBUS (September 12, 2012) – A total of 193 House members and 39 Senators are rated as “Dirty Air Villains” in a new analysis by the NRDC Action Fund published today on the website and released with Environment Ohio.  In the House, 99 members are rated as “Clean Air Heroes” while in the Senate the 43 “Clean Air Heroes” outnumber the chamber’s villains.

The NRDC Action Fund analysis also found that on average, House members who took more than $100,000 in career polluter campaign contributions voted against clean air laws nearly twice as many times as those who accepted less than $100,000 from dirty industries. In the Senate, members taking more than $500,000 in career polluter campaign contributions voted against clean air laws three times as often as those taking less, on average. Contributions data was obtained from OpenSecrets in August, 2012.   

The analysis also finds that a large number of the House and Senate “villains” – 48 in the House and 25 in the Senate – represent citizens living in towns and cities that rank among the 25 most polluted metro areas in America for air pollution.

Heather Taylor, director of the NRDC Action Fund, said: “Our analysis reveals the full extent of Big Polluters’ reach into Congress, where some members, especially in the Tea party-influenced House, do not miss a single opportunity to side with the dirty industry, leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves. Our data will help people send a strong message to office-seekers: We want representatives in Congress who put the public first, not polluters. Before going to the polls on Nov. 6, every concerned citizen should get the facts at’’

Julian Boggs, policy advocate for Environment Ohio, said: “Ohioans count on their elected officials to help protect them and their children’s health from dangerous air pollution, but this analysis shows that far too many members of Congress are neglecting that responsibility in favor of doing the polluters’ bidding.  These Dirty Air Villains should be held accountable for their votes against our health, and we urge citizens to check out this analysis to see if they’re being represented by a Dirty Air Villain or a Clean Air Hero.”

What makes a “Dirty Air Villain”?  The analysis is based on 13 major clean air votes in the House and four in the Senate. Members who voted against clean air at every opportunity are designated “Dirty Air Villains”. Clean Air Heroes voted for clean air at every opportunity. Speaker of the House John Boehner is counted as a Dirty Air Villain for scheduling the House votes, although he didn’t cast votes on the bills.

All 193 Dirty Air Villains in the House are Republican. In the Senate, 37 Republicans and two Democrats voted down the line against clean air. All 99 Clean Air Heroes in the House are Democrats, while in the Senate, 41 of the Heroes are Democrats and 2 are Independents.

Other key findings:

o    Ohio’s fourteen Dirty Air Villains include Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH8) and Reps. Steve Chabot (R-OH1) (whose district includes the Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, OH-KY-IN MSA which ranks 21st in the nation for Ozone pollution and eighth for year-round particulate pollution), Jean Schmidt (R-OH2) (whose district includes the Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington, OH-KY-IN MSA which ranks 21st worst for Ozone pollution and 8th for year-round particulate pollution), Michael Turner (R-OH3), Jim Jordan (R-OH4), Robert Latta (R-OH5), Bill Johnson (R-OH6), Steve Austria (R-OH7), Patrick Tiberi (R-OH12), Steven LaTourette (R-OH14) and Jim Renacci (R-OH16) (both of whose districts overlap part of the Cleveland-Akron, OH MSA which is the nation’s 14th most polluted for year round soot), Steve Stivers (R-OH15) and Bob Gibbs (R-OH18.) Ohio’s three Clean Air Heroes include Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Reps. Betty Sutton (D-OH13) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH10).

CONTACT:  Julian Boggs, (614) 440-3438, or [email protected].

ABOUT THE NRDC ACTION FUND. The NRDC Action Fund’s mission is to achieve the passage of legislation that jump-starts the clean energy economy, reduces pollution, and sustains vibrant communities for all Americans. Now is the time for leadership and action from our elected officials — our current goal is a comprehensive clean energy policy that will repower our economy and fuel our future.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENT OHIO.  Environment Ohio is a state-based, citizen funded environmental advocacy organization working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.  

EDITOR’S  NOTE:  A streaming audio replay of this news event will be available as of 4 p.m. EDT on September 12, 2012 at

The NRDC Action Fund is an affiliated but separate organization from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, the NRDC Action Fund engages in various advocacy and political activities for which the Natural Resources Defense Council, a 501(c)(3) organization, faces certain legal limitations or restrictions. News and information released by the NRDC Action Fund therefore needs to be identified as from the NRDC Action Fund.  Use of the label “Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund” is incorrect; the only correct title is the “NRDC Action Fund.” In other words, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the NRDC Action Fund cannot be used interchangeably.  Also, please note that the word “National” does not appear in Natural Resources Defense Council.

Paid for by Environment Ohio,  Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.


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