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May 13, 2013

Environmentalists vow to elect Markey to Senate

(Continued)

During his campaign, Markey has pointed to what he said was his strong environmental record, including pushing for tougher efficiency standards for household appliances and pressing to set goals to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases.

When oil began spilling into the Gulf of Mexico following an explosion on an offshore rig operated by BP, Markey forced the company to make live video footage of the spill available on a public “Spillcam” website, a move praised by environmentalists.

A third group, the 350.org Action Fund, is focused on what it calls the “climate crisis” as its top issue.

During the primary, the group spent $49,985 to support Markey. The bulk of that went to helping organize young people and college students concerned about climate change, according to Ben Wessel, the group’s Massachusetts campaign manager.

Wessel says he expects to see the same level of enthusiasm in the Markey/Gomez contest, even though the election falls on June 25, when many college students have left town. He said the group is pushing to make sure students vote by absentee ballot even if they are out of the state.

Wessel said the election is the first time the group has endorsed a candidate and become involved in electoral politics. He said many of the group’s supporters have also pushed for their colleges to divest from oil companies and the “fossil fuel” industry.

“We have a different role to play,” Wessel said. “We have legions of volunteers across the state who are willing to get out into the streets.”

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