NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An environmental group is launching a statewide television ad campaign in Tennessee to thank Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander for his opposition to an effort to block the Environmental Protection Agency from setting the first federal standards to reduce toxic air pollution from power plants.
The Environmental Defense Fund said Tuesday it is spending about $200,000 to air the ad in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville, Jackson and Memphis this week. The groups said the ads are meant to applaud Alexander for what it calls taking "a courageous stand for the people of his home state."
Alexander was among five Republicans who voted against the measure sponsored by Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma that sought to scrap an Obama administration rule aimed at curbing air pollution from primarily coal-fired power plants.
"I learned as governor that cleaner air not only means better health for Tennesseans, it means better jobs," Alexander said in an emailed statement. "It's been a top priority of mine in the Senate. So far as I can tell, most Tennesseans agree with me."
Alexander spokesman Jim Jeffries said the clean air issue isn't a partisan one.
"Which is why people from across the political spectrum have been thanking Sen. Alexander for his vote," he said in an email. "Just in the last few days a conservative group has run radio ads in Tennessee supporting him, too."