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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 Heather and NRDC's Action Fund on Facebook.

Entries by Heather Taylor-Miesle

Who Votes Dirty?

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


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

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.


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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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Toomey Votes Out of Touch With Pennsylvanians

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 12:22 PM

Senator Toomey's home in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley is only about three hours from Washington, D.C., but judging from the senator's voting record the past few weeks, it seems a world away. Toomey has cast one vote after another designed to block action on climate change, undermine clean energy growth, and...

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Cory Gardner's Wind Hypocrisy

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 5:12 PM


Do you remember the worst words your mom could say to you when you were a kid? I do. She'd look down at you and her eyes would be devoid of anger. In its place would be a kind of sad pity as...

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Rubio's Week Ahead: Ditch D.C., Deny Science

(0) Comments | Posted January 26, 2015 | 3:10 PM

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has ambitious plans this week. As the Senate wrestles with the Republicans' Keystone XL pipeline legislation, Rubio will be skipping town to bolster his presidential bid. This legislation has implications for fossil-fuel dependence and climate change. And one of its amendments may address offshore drilling...

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Running Clean or Running Scared?

(1) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 10:54 AM

A batch of Senate amendments this week revealed the awkward maneuvering going on within the Republican Party on climate change. After months of some GOP lawmakers holding fast to denial and some demurring "I'm not a scientist," a handful of Senate Republicans voted to forthrightly acknowledge that human activity is...

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GOP Choice for Response to State of the Union Shows Their True Intentions: Support Dirty Polluters

(23) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 9:03 AM

The GOP is taking another lurch to the far right tonight. Republican leaders have chosen recently elected Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) to deliver the party's response to President Obama's State of the Union address. Ernst is a veteran who grew up on an Iowa farm. She is also a pistol-packing,...

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Lawmakers Who Back Big Polluters Risk Losing GOP Voters

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 8:46 AM

Energy prices may be plummeting, but oil, gas, and coal companies are seeing a dramatic return on investment in one sector: the US Congress. The fossil fuel industry spent $721 million on the 2014 midterm elections. And now the GOP majority has vowed to make life easier for...

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New Polling Confirms Climate Denier Will Have Hard Road to Win White House in 2016

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 2:24 PM

As 2014 draws to a close, most people are reflecting on what the new year will bring. The political junkies among us, however, have skipped ahead to 2016 and the presidential race. And we've had plenty of material to parse these last few days. Jeb Bush's announcement that he will...

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Fond Farewell to Retiring Environmental Champions

(1) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 12:50 PM

Late Thursday night, three of the longest-serving environmental champions in Congress took their final votes. Representatives John Dingell, George Miller, and Henry Waxman are retiring. They surely deserve the rest, but -- oh! -- how the environmental community will miss having them in the House. With gratitude, we bid them...

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Meet the Two House Members-Elect Who Took Down Dirty Deniers

(6) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 9:52 AM

In less than a month, we'll be swearing in the 114th Congress. In too many ways, it isn't the Congress I wanted. Too many Dirty Denier$ won their races last month and too many clean energy champions will be home in their districts instead of fighting for action on climate...

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4 Midterm Lessons About the Politics of Climate Change

(7) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 3:14 PM

The Republican Party has taken control of the Senate after winning a handful of red states. This makes Senator Mitch McConnell the new Majority Leader, yet voters have not endorsed McConnell's pro-polluter agenda of dirty air and unlimited climate change pollution.

All year long, poll after poll has shown that...

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The Power of Your Vote

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 8:18 AM

The other day I brought my son to a lesson with his 28-year-old, very hip guitar teacher. The teacher knows that my job is related to advocacy and politics so after the lesson, he asked in all earnestness, "Is voting really worth it?" He said he wasn't if sure his...

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Running Clean Draws Support from Swing Voters

(2) Comments | Posted November 2, 2014 | 2:21 PM

With 48 hours to go before the midterm elections, you're probably a bit tired of seeing competing poll results. Head-to-head matchups between candidates have varied this entire election cycle, but one item we've been tracking has remained consistent -- voters want action on climate change.

In February, the NRDC Action...

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