Nov. 1 (UPI) -- An environmental group said Thursday it will spend more than $80 million to help Democrats retake control in Congress.
That total nearly doubles what the League of Conservation Voters spent in the 2016 election, $45 million, and is an example of how environmental groups are flexing financial muscle to try and get lawmakers to refocus on issues like climate change.
The organization joined four other groups -- EDF Action, National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, NRDC Action Fund and Sierra Club -- in saying they're backing Democratic candidates to create a "pro-environment majority in Congress."
The groups said in a statement they're targeting districts in California, Florida, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
"The stakes for our environment have truly ever been higher than in this election," GreenWave program director Margie Alt said.
In Florida, where two of the hottest races are being run -- for governor and U.S. Senate -- a University of North Florida study found recently the environment was one of the top three issues on voters' minds.
Another study by Chapman University found that pollution in waterways and drinking water were two of Americans' top three concerns.
"Our members are fired up and are hard at work making calls and knocking on doors to elect representatives who share our environmental values," Alt added. "All across the country, we are seeing a green wave building strength, ready to take back our Congress and our country from the polluters and the politicians who do their bidding."
Some Republicans targeted by the environmental organizations are fighting back, saying outside money from figures like former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg are trying to influence local elections.