Sierra Club will focus more funds on state and local political races

The Sierra Club plans to substantially boost the amount of money it spends on state and local races this year — a tacit acknowledgement that the current federal government is a lost cause. Whereas in past years the club put about 5 percent of its campaign funding toward state races, this year state and local races will get about a third. The club plans to disperse $5 million to $10 million in total campaign funding, according to executive director Carl Pope. As Republican radicalism in Washington, D.C., has ground environmental progress to a near halt, many state governments have tired of waiting and forged ahead on their own, with new regulations on everything from capping greenhouse gases to restricting mercury emissions to upping fuel-economy standards. Says Pope, “Whatever happens this fall, Washington is still going to be paralyzed. This pattern of state and local leadership is going to continue environmentally.”