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Ocean Champions: Political Champions for Ocean Conservation

Dear Friend,

There’s not much oil in New Hampshire, but there’s plenty of talk about it in the Granite State these days. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), is running for reelection to a second term, and her tremendous body of work, including standing up to Big Oil has earned her an endorsement from Ocean Champions. This time she’s likely to face a familiar foe from south of the border—former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown—in a critical race that could swing the balance of the entire Senate.

Since her 2008 election, Senator Shaheen has proven herself to be a robust leader, not just on ocean issues, but also on energy, the environment and climate change. She has been a staunch supporter of New Hampshire’s coastal and fishing communities, and has made it a point to reach across the aisle to form productive partnerships and break Senate logjams.

One such relationship with Portman (R-OH) has resulted in the Shaheen-Portman Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act. While this bill ultimately fell victim to political gamesmanship, including Scott Brown lobbying AGAINST the bill, and a failed attempt to tack on an amendment related to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, it came closer than just about any other major energy legislation to breaking the historically tight Senate logjam.

While Senator Shaheen has proven her willingness to find common ground, she’s not afraid to stand her ground either—including by leading another bipartisan effort of all four of New Hampshire’s legislators to oppose the use of an existing pipeline to carry tar sands oil through their state to the coast of Maine.

Shaheen and Brown, already locking horns on the campaign trail, are diametrically opposed on many issues, especially when it comes to the petroleum industry. Senator Shaheen has fought to end oil subsidies and hold polluters accountable for the environmental degradation they cause, while opponent Scott Brown has happily pocketed donations from Big Oil. During his tenure as a Senator from Massachusetts, Brown voted against Shaheen’s proposed rollback of Big Oil tax subsidies.

Ocean Champions engaged in this fight earlier this spring with statewide radio ads promoting Senator Shaheen and exposing Scott Brown for who he is: "one of Big Oil's biggest advocates.” And while Senator Shaheen leads Scott Brown in the polls (Senator Shaheen leads by an average of 5 points in recent polls), we won't ease up.  In fact, Ocean Champions has partnered with Climate Change Solutions PAC and is back up on the air with statewide radio ads highlighting Senator Shaheen record of success.

While Senator Shaheen is as tough as the granite from her home state, she still needs our support. And we need her to ensure that healthy oceans and coasts remain a winning issue on the Senate floor.

For the oceans,

David Wilmot, Ph.D.
President and Co-Founder

P.S.  We’re working harder than ever to win the fight to build an ocean majority in Congress.  Tell your friends to join our email list and to consider a contribution today so that they’ll know how to “vote the ocean” too!

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