Environmentalists to troll Republican debate with 6-figure TV ad

A TV ad from NextGen Climate
(Image credit: Screenshot/Youtube)

The CNBC debate Wednesday night, officially titled "Your Money, Your Vote," will serve as a more thematic debate than previous iterations hosted by Fox and CNN. Republican presidential candidates will be asked questions with a specific focus on "job growth, taxes, technology, retirement, and the health of our national economy."

At least one advocacy group will be weighing in, too — though it cost them six figures to secure a coveted 30-second ad spot during the debate. In a suggestion you won't likely hear from the Republicans on stage, the ad proposes climate-change action as a fuel for job creation:

The ad spot was purchased by Tom Steyer, the billionaire behind the environmental advocacy group NextGen Climate; the organization's goal is to achieve 50 percent clean energy by the year 2030, Mother Jones reports. With the ad, Steyer and his group are determined to hold Republican presidential candidates responsible for their action, or inaction, in combating climate change and to "disqualify" anyone who remains skeptical about widely accepted science on the topic.

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Curiously, Steyer might have an ally on the stage: While Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and others are vocal climate-change skeptics, Ben Carson, the new national frontrunner, has previously agreed that there should be "more than 50 percent" clean energy.

"I don't care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican […] if you have any thread of decency in you, you want to take care of the environment because you know you have to pass it on to the next generation," Carson said earlier this month.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at TheWeek.com. She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.