WASHINGTON -- The League of Conservation Voters is going hard against Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). On Thursday, the LCV announced that it was adding Gardner, a second-term House member, to its list of lawmakers who have opposed environmental measures and would spend $1 million on anti-Gardner ads.
The ads highlight the $450,000 in campaign contributions Gardner has received from the oil and gas industry, according to figures from the Center for Responsive Politics. Oil and gas interests have been his largest industry supporters.
In March, Gardner announced that he is challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, rather than running for reelection to the House. Gardner is the first Senate candidate added to the League of Conservation Voters' "Dirty Dozen" list, which the group creates every election cycle to highlight candidates that it would like to defeat.
In its release announcing the ads, the LCV also dinged Gardner's position on climate change. Gardner said in 2010, "I think the climate is changing, but I don't believe humans are causing that change to the extent that's been in the news."
“It’s no surprise that corporate polluters are already trying to buy climate change denier Cory Gardner a Senate seat in November," said LCV President Gene Karpinski in a statement. "Cory Gardner has repeatedly helped Big Oil avoid paying their fair share while taking contributions from them hand over fist."
Gardner spokesman Alex Siciliano responded to the ads in a comment to the Denver Post, calling LCV "an extreme anti-fracking group that works every day to attack Colorado’s energy economy and calls Senator Udall one of their 'staunchest allies in the U.S. Senate.'"
"If Senator Udall and the LCV had their way, Colorado would lose tens of thousands of jobs, and working families across the state would see huge increases in their energy bills," said Siciliano. "The LCV and Mark Udall are out of touch with Colorado’s economy and energy resources."
Watch the LCV ad above.