Under the Dome

Environmentalists praise Hagan for her votes to reduce mercury pollution

The League of Conservation Voters launched a new ad in North Carolina on Thursday thanking Sen. Kay Hagan for her votes in the U.S. Senate to support Environmental Protection Agency regulations that reduce mercury pollution.

The ad opens on a family with two small children at a dining table. A narrator says: “They can’t see it but they sure feel its effects – asthma attacks, birth defects, even heart attacks. Mercury pollution.”

The Hagan ad started Thursday and will run through Dec. 4 in the Charlotte media market at a cost of $305,000, the organization said. It’s part of a $1 million national ad buy by the League to praise Hagan and four other members of Congress for environmental protection votes.

“One child going to the ER because of dirty air is one too many. Senator Hagan deserves a lot of credit for standing up to polluters, and the general assembly should follow her lead,” Carrie Clark, executive director of the NC League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement.

Mercury harms the nervous systems of fetuses and young children. The largest source of it in the United States is coal-fired power plants. Other related pollutants have been linked to heart attacks and asthma.

Hagan, a Democrat from Greensboro, has an 84 percent lifetime score on the league’s environmental scorecard.