- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A Washington-based environmental advocacy group launched two ads Monday attacking North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr’s opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to curb emissions from power plants.

In the two 30-second ads, the League of Conservation Voters sent a somber message about the effects of air pollution, including a mother discussing her son’s asthma and images of family members disappearing from their loved ones. The later ad follows up with an EPA statistic saying reduced carbon dioxide emissions will save 6,600 people annually from premature deaths.

The ads conclude with a message urging Burr, a second-term Republican, to end his opposition to the Clean Power Plan. In August, the EPA plans to finalize the set of rules expected to require that states cut their carbon emissions generated by power plants by one-third of 2005 levels.

Burr’s office responded with a statement from a spokeswoman pointing out North Carolina’s successes in reducing its own emissions while describing the EPA plan as federal overreach into state energy policy.

“This will not only be intrusive and costly, but will make it more difficult for North Carolina to continue to lead on this issue,” the statement said.

A spokesman for the LCV said the satellite campaigns cost about $107,000 and are expected to last two to three weeks, depending on how quickly viewers see the ads.

Last week, a Republican lawmaker in the state Senate proposed a bill blocking state agencies from acting on the Clean Power Plan until the end of what is expected to be a lengthy series of legal challenges to the rules.

Also Monday, the LCV announced a similar advertising campaign against Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. Both Burr and Johnson are both up for re-election next year.

Former North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan and other notable Democrats in the state have declined to challenge Burr, who won re-election in 2010 with 54 percent of the vote.


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