I Support Clean Air
Mobilizing nationwide support for cleaner air.
One of the nation’s largest energy utilities believed that the long-term benefits of the new EPA rules — both to the American people and to the advancement of the energy industry — would outweigh any short-term expense of complying with them. To help make sure the EPA’s clean air rules would become a reality, the utility engaged Dewey Square Group to develop the multi-state “I Support Clean Air” campaign.
Despite the wide reaching benefits of the new regulations, the proposed Cross-State Air Pollution Rules and Mercury and Air Toxic Standards were met with significant pushback from the coal industry and other energy utilities. Without demonstrable support from the public and key constituents, the enactment of the new rules was at risk.
To build momentum behind “I Support Clean Air,” Dewey Square Group helped build a coalition and targeted key regions. We devised a multi-faceted strategy including earned media, social media, grasstops support and grassroots mobilization. The effort focused on 10 states where support from key members of Congress would ensure enactment of the clean air rules.
Dewey Square Group began by building a broad and diverse coalition of parties interested in supporting the EPA’s rules, including public health officials, business leaders, faith-based organizations, environmental groups, and state and local elected officials.
To express their support for the rules, these grasstops coalition members held in-district events, wrote letters, made calls and had in-person meetings with key congressional targets.
To ratchet up the grassroots pressure on Congress, constituents in key districts received direct mail educating them on the issue, and delivered thousands of on-message voicemails to targeted members of Congress. In conjunction, canvassers across 10 states collected signed petitions and hand-delivered tens of thousands of postcards from constituents to member offices.
The “I Support Clean Air” Facebook page recruited tens of thousands of followers who then used a toll-free number to connect to their Members of Congress. Facebook supporters also used a petition page to generate hundreds of emails to Congress and the White House.
On the earned media front, “I Support Clean Air” partnered with NFL Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis to add starpower to the campaign. His efforts along with those of the other coalition members resulted in a torrent of high profile articles, TV and radio hits, op-eds, editorials, letters to the editor and blog postings — all in support of the clean air rules.
I Support Clean Air achieved victory with help from:
Constituent voice mails delivered to congress
Clean air activists recruited on Facebook
Letters to Congress from opinion leaders
Signed postcards and petitions
High-profile earned media hits
NFL Hall of Famer supporting the cause
At a critical phase of the campaign, when legislation was introduced attempting to block the EPA from implementing the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, the overwhelming support for clean air resulted in a 56-41 defeat of the resolution. After this clear victory for clean air advocates, the new EPA rules were enacted.