Ted Cruz Challenger Picks Up Key Environmental Endorsement

The county judge gave Democratic Rep. Beto O’ Rourke the dire warning earlier this year when the three-term El Paso congressman leaned right down to sip from a water fountain away from Lasalle County courthouse, a approximately two-and-a-half-hour drive from San Antonio.

Don’ t drink water.

A gas drilling company polluted the water table, the judge informed him, and no one trusted water to be safe. It’ s a story of industrial pollution that’ s become familiar to O’ Rourke since he began barnstorming their state in March in a bid in order to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

“ We hear these types of stories around the state, ” O’ Rourke told HuffPost by mobile phone on Sunday, calling during halftime at his daughter’ s football game. “ It becomes this quite personal, critically important public ailment. They want to know someone is battling for their water and their atmosphere. ”

For one or more major environmental group, the 45-year-old congressman is that someone. On Mon, the League of Conservation Voters plans to throw its assistance behind O’ Rourke, giving your pet its fourth Senate endorsement however for the 2018 election cycle.

“ He’ s a new really strong record in Our elected representatives on our issues, ” Craig Auster, League of Conservation Voters’ politics action committee director, told HuffPost. “ We’ re excited that will in a state like Texas that will someone is running on our problems and has done so much for the atmosphere in his legislative career. ”

The League of Preservation Voters Action Fund spent a list $4, 461, 552 in 2016, including on 22 Senate applicants, according to data collated by the Center for Receptive Politics. Total campaign spending over the organization’ s various funds plus campaign groups topped  $45 mil. Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, the girls has endorsed Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa. ) and Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev. ), as well as Doug Jones’ campaign for Tuesday’ s i9000 Alabama special election.

Beto ORourke
Rep. Beto O’Rourke shown with  supporters  of single-payer health care.

Cruz, who elevated more money from oil and gas companies within 2016 than any other industry, is among the most virulent climate change deniers in the Senate. By contrast, O’ Rourke’ s voting record earned the 94 percent lifetime score at the League of Conservation Voters’   national environmental ranking.

At the same time when President Donald Trump ’ s administration has proposed shrinking  ten national monuments   and gutting at least two, O’ Rourke stands out as a champion associated with public lands.

He  presented   legislation a year ago and pushed the Obama administration to determine a 7, 081-acre national monument at Castner Range, near Este Paso. Last month, he effectively included a provision in the Nationwide Defense Authorization Act to protect the region, which includes a historic U. S. army training facility.

Over the past yr,   O’ Rourke became the vocal critic of Environmental Protection Agency Manager Scott Pruitt’ s plans in order to drastically shrink the agency’ s  spending budget   and  eliminate   greenhouse gas rules, and came out against the Keystone XL pipeline.

On Weekend, he told HuffPost he facilitates putting a price on carbon exhausts and wants to jumpstart Texas’ s i9000 transformation into a renewable energy powerhouse. This season, the state became the nation’ t top wind energy producer, yet lags behind other states within solar production.

Climate modify is already taking a major toll upon Texas, he said, pointing in order to historic droughts in north Tx and the devastation left after Storm Harvey made landfall over the Houston area last August.

Sixty-nine percent of Texans understand global warming is happening, though simply 52 percent understand that human routines, such as burning fossil fuels, are the major cause, according to  2016 survey information   from the Yale Program on Climate Change Conversation. Seventy-one percent in the state assistance regulating carbon dioxide emissions as a pollutant.

This really is connected to climate change, which is coupled to the personal and political decisions all of us make. Rep. Beto O’Rourke

“ Folks get it, all of us get it, ” O’ Rourke stated, referring to the recent disasters. “ This is connected to climate change, that is connected to the personal and political choices we make. ”

Meanwhile, Jones has  convened   precious fuel industry scientists to refute climate change, dismissed global heating as a costly “ religion , ” and  urged   Trump to withdraw from the Paris, france climate agreement. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in August, the previous Republican presidential candidate  refused   to answer questions in regards to the link between climate change as well as the storm, which scientists said has been made worse by rising temperatures.

Cruz raised over $2 mil for his re-election campaign as well as its allied groups in the third one fourth of this year alone,   The Tx Tribune   documented in October, outpacing O’ Rourke’ s $1. 7 million carry during the same three-month period.

Phil Novack, a spokesman meant for Cruz, did not respond to a request comment.

O’ Rourke hasn’ t eschewed corporate donors. Professionals from cable giant Time Warner, Google parent Alphabet Inc. as well as the investor-owned hospital and clinic string Tenet Healthcare  rank among   his top campaign members, though those came from individuals rather than from the companies’ political action committees.  

But Cruz is undoubtedly the fossil fuel industry preferred. Oil and gas companies alone contributed on least  $965, 062   to his campaign committee plus leadership PAC during this election routine, once again securing the industry’ h status as his top subscriber.

“ When you think of Tx and energy, you think of gas and oil, which is certainly part of it, yet it’ s increasingly wind plus solar and geothermal and the technology and innovation around carbon catch and sequestration, ” O’ Rourke said.

“ There’ ersus all this good stuff happening in Tx where you might not expect it in the future from, ” he added. “ What we need now is public management that can take this great set of situations and really lead nationally and take full advantage of the best of Texas. ”