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Heather Taylor-Miesle
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Heather Taylor-Miesle is the Director of the NRDC Action Fund. With more than 18 years of experience in federal politics as a public interest lobbyist, political consultant and on Capitol Hill, she has expertise in federal energy, environmental health, and appropriations issues. Prior to becoming director of the NRDC Action Fund, Ms. Taylor-Miesle was the associate legislative director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the world’s premier environmental organizations. Prior to her position at the NRDC, Ms. Taylor-Miesle worked on Capitol Hill, first as an aide to former Governor Ted Strickland (D-OH) and then as a senior staff member for former Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis (D-CA). Follow the NRDC Action Fund on Facebook.

Entries by Heather Taylor-Miesle

Chris Christie Not 'Telling It Like It Is' on Climate Change

(3) Comments | Posted July 9, 2015 | 3:09 PM

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"Real. Honest. Direct. Tell It Like It Is."

Those were the words on a banner at a recent campaign event by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Christie is one of the latest entrants in the crowded 2016 presidential field, and...

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Bobby Jindal Should Know Better

(23) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 11:42 AM

Bobby Jindal

As we struggle to keep pace with our reviews of the ever-widening 2016 presidential field, we are ready to talk about one of the latest contenders: Bobby Jindal. Jindal is the current governor...

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Baron Hill Is Running for Senate. Will He Run Clean?

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 11:09 AM

Indiana voters may have a chance to significantly change their state's representation in Congress when they go to the polls next fall to elect a replacement for retiring senator Dan Coats. Coats, who returned to the Congress in 2010 after a break following nearly two decades of service, has earned...

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The Pope's Encyclical on Climate Change and What It Means for U.S. Politics

(2) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 3:30 PM

Pope Francis has released a profound and inspiring encyclical on the moral obligation to confront climate change. It urges us to heed nature's warnings. And it calls on us to tackle the climate threat in the name of justice, human dignity and service to the poor and most vulnerable among...

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Jeb Bush: A Climate Denier By Any Other Name Is Still a Climate Denier

(2) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 6:19 PM

Former Governor Jeb Bush made it official: he finally announced he is running for president. In his speech and media appearances, he declared it's time for solutions.  "We can fix the problems that people think are intractable. With leadership we can move forward again. We can be the greatest...

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The Thing We Should Be Talking About When It Comes to the Democratic Presidential Field

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 1:58 PM

I'm taking a break from writing "absurd things radical presidential candidates say" to bring you some promising news instead. In addition to Hillary Clinton, there are three new candidates who've joined the race for the Democratic nomination for president, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and...

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You Won't Believe What Rand Paul Said About His Environmental Record

(2) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 3:37 PM

Here's a short quiz to see how well you've been paying attention to the 2016 presidential campaign.

Q: Which presidential candidate makes this statement in a new book? "I'm a crunchy conservative and a tree hugger and proud of it."

  1. Is it Hillary Clinton, who earned an
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Russ Feingold Announces Senate Run

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 5:42 PM

It may seem like the big news of the 2016 election season is that a new denier is entering the presidential race or quasi-campaigning every week. From Jeb Bush to Rand Paul, Ted Cruz to Marco Rubio, Fiorina to Huckabee to Carson, you've got deniers...

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Jeb's Climate Dodgeball

(34) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 4:39 PM

If you've ever seen the movie Dodgeball, starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughan, then you'll know the rules guiding Jeb Bush's still-undeclared campaign when it comes to climate change: "Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge."

I'm guessing that somewhere a team of pollsters, strategists and PR experts got paid...

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Three New Deniers Want to Be President

(90) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 5:13 PM

The 2016 presidential race is officially heating up, with three new "dirty deniers" entering the contest last week. While there are differences among the three -- Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson -- on policy and style they each hold views on climate change and clean energy that make...

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Is the Big-Polluter Agenda the Environmental Platform of the Republican Party?

(3) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 4:37 PM

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) asked a good question last month. He wanted to know, "What is the environmental platform of the Republican Party?" Graham said he doesn't know and suggested that it's time for his party to do some "soul searching."

Current Platform

Graham is right to...

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Rand Paul and the Big-Polluter Agenda

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 3:12 PM

As the 2016 presidential candidates are declaring themselves, we here at the NRDC Action Fund and the Markup blog are trying to keep up. We've run down Hillary Clinton's strong record on the environment, reflected on Ted Cruz's failure to connect his Christian faith with the...

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Who Votes Dirty?

(1) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 11:00 AM

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Washington doesn't have the bright lights and flashy showgirls of the Vegas Strip, but some lawmakers sure seem to have adopted Vegas' motto. Unfortunately for them, what happens in Washington is no longer going to stay in Washington. Thanks to a newly designed...

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Goodbye to Two of Our First Green Female Champs in the Senate

(1) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 4:06 PM

Today is the last day of women's history month. This year, two fantastic women senators will mark the ends of their historic Senate careers. Senators Barbara Boxer and Barbara Mikulski have served a collective 70 years in Congress. In those decades, they've established themselves as strong environmental...

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Which Way Does the Wind Blow the GOP on Wind?

(3) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 10:17 AM

At the conclusion of the 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, said of the president's victories in Iowa and Colorado that the "wind energy tax credit was an issue in both of those states." With President Obama supporting the tax credit and Mitt Romney not only...

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A Climate Christian Reflects on the Cruz Candidacy

(3) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 1:04 PM

When U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced his presidential candidacy at Liberty University this week, he spoke in phrases intended to resonate with people like me and my family: devout Christians. I come from a long line of people who put Jesus Christ at the center of their lives, and...

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Rick Perry, Still a Denier

(24) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 4:12 PM

Rick Perry is back, and this time he's in it to win it. Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Perry left behind the bumbling tea party conservative of 2012 and did his best to appear a reasonable, professorial moderate on environmental issues. Yet even this more polished Perry...

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First 50 Days: Nothing but the Big Polluter Agenda

(17) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 10:08 PM

Around the time the new Congress marked its first 50 days, my children's classes were celebrating the 100th day of school. Students did a hundred math problems, read books for a hundred minutes, and brought in bags of a hundred objects like dried beans and pasta.

If Republicans in Congress marked their milestone in a similar way, they would probably write up 50 ways to gut environmental safeguards or haul in 50 miniature smokestacks.

And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would be at the top of the class.

Fifty days into the new Congress, McConnell has established himself as a champion of polluting industries. McConnell devoted much of this session to supporting the Keystone XL pipeline for dirty tar sands oil and trying to block the EPA from reducing climate change emissions. These efforts get a failing grade from public health experts because they would increase pollution linked to asthma attacks, respiratory illness and cancer.

Why has the GOP leadership used the first 50 days to push pollution? Perhaps it has something to do with their super-wealthy donors. Oil, gas, and coal companies spent more than $721 million to support their candidates and interests in Congress over the past two years. McConnell raked in $608,000 from the fossil fuel industry for his 2014 campaign.

Yet while most Republican lawmakers stump for more pollution, Americans are calling for less.

A Washington Post/ABC News Poll found that fully 70 percent of Americans say the federal government should limit the amount of climate change pollution coming from power plants. Most Americans trust the EPA more than Congress when it comes to addressing pollution, according to a recent poll done by the American Lung Association. And 51 percent of Kentuckians wanted McConnell to say he recognizes that human activity causes climate change--something he refused to do in the election season.

A strong majority of Americans want leaders to confront the climate crisis, but the Republican leadership has refused. They have failed utterly to offer any plan for dealing with the biggest environmental and humanitarian challenge of our time. During his campaign, McConnell promised to handcuff the EPA and stop climate action. That attracted industry dollars. But it's not why most people voted for him. Kentuckians want to breathe clean air and shield their children from disastrous impacts from climate change.

The NRDC Action Fund also made a promise during the midterms: We vowed to hold lawmakers accountable for backing polluters over people.

Our commitment doesn't end with the campaign cycle. We stay on the job, tracking member votes, tallying industry lobbying dollars, and letting voters know when lawmakers try to make the air dirtier or the water less safe to drink.

So when McConnell spends 50 days pushing the Big Polluter Agenda, we spread the word in Kentucky and beyond. And when Colorado's Senator Cory Gardner votes against incentives for wind energy just months after he posed for a campaign ad in the middle of a wind farm, we let people know.

Because Washington shouldn't be like Vegas: what happens there shouldn't stay there. Voters should know what their lawmakers are doing. And they should expect those lawmakers to keep our kids safe from...

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Feeling the Love All Year Long

(0) Comments | Posted February 16, 2015 | 12:54 PM

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Valentine's Day may have passed, but my kids' haul of chocolate is still lingering. As I attempt to avoid eating just one more piece, I can't help but think about all the love for climate action we felt over the weekend.

Our...

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Climate Valentines: Time To Define The Relationship

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 8:21 AM

February 14th is the day when Americans celebrate love with cards, flowers and chocolate. At my house, the kids are busy making paper hearts and cranking out scores of cards for their friends. Their handiwork inspired me to create a valentine for members of Congress who need to have "the...

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