New NextGen Climate ads attack Rick Scott over ties to “wealthy energy interests”

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NextGen Climate, the environmental Super PAC founded by billionaire liberal environmentalist Tom Steyer, released two new Florida television ads today attacking Gov. Rick Scott over his ties to wealthy energy interests.

According to a statement issued on Friday, the two 30-second spots—titled “Shock” and “Fountain” — illustrate Scott’s “poor record of financially benefiting from wealthy donors; standing with corporate energy interests at the expense of Florida’s kids, health and economy.”

“Shock,” calls out Gov. Scott for allowing utility companies — some of his largest campaign donors — to keep collecting billions from consumers on failed energy projects. Scott’s administration, aided by the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature, approved a plan to let utility companies continue billing for up to $3.2 billion to pay for two failed nuclear power facilities.

Duke Energy, the ad notes,  donated half a million dollars to Scott’s campaign.

“Fountain” links Scott’s ties to oil drilling near the Everglades, which endangers the drinking water supply for as many as seven million Floridians. The ad notes that Scott also took $200,000 in campaign contributions from oil interests, companies that “profited from the pollution.”

As climate change threatens millions of Floridians, NextGen Climate accuses Scott of continuing to deny basic science, putting special interests first.

“It’s clear that Gov. Scott will do whatever it takes to advance his own personal agenda at the expense of Florida families,” a NextGen Climate representative said.

In what could be one of the most-expensive pro-environment campaigns ever, the San Francisco-based NextGen Climate PAC is mounting an on-the-ground campaign to aid Democrats and attack Republicans in key Senate and gubernatorial races. The NextGen website lists Scott as one of seven targeted GOP candidates.

Steyer recently gave $750,000 to the Florida operation, as part of his pledge of $100 million nationwide to put climate change as a vanguard for the November midterms.

Both “Shock” and “Fountain” are available on YouTube.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.