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Climate Group Backed By Billionaire Progressive Donor Goes To Koch Brothers' Turf

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The Koch Industries Inc. headquarters in Wichita, Kansas. | ASSOCIATED PRESS

A political action committee backed by the billionaire climate change activist Tom Steyer has made reservations for a new round of TV ads in both Washington, D.C., and Wichita, Kansas, where Koch Industries Inc. is based.

Politico reported Friday that NextGen Climate Action, which Steyer founded in 2013, has put down $20,000 for ads to run Sunday in the District of Columbia market. Democratic and Republican media trackers say the group has also reserved a ceremonial sum -- $250 of airtime -- for ads in Wichita.

Steyer is a California-based hedge fund investor who has made opposing the Keystone XL pipeline one of his signature issues. He has said he wants to spend $100 million on ads to stimulate a discussion of climate change during 2014's midterm elections.

In April, he challenged the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch to "come out of the shadows" and debate energy policy and climate change. The brothers declined the invitation.

NextGen is also hosting a petition calling on the Koch brothers to engage in the debate, so the small ad buy in Wichita could be interpreted as another maneuver to draw distinctions between the climate change views of Steyer and the Koch network.

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