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Melissa K. Merry

Interest groups play an important role in shaping U.S. environmental policy, although their influence depends on various factors, including groups’ strategic choices with respect to lobbying, relationships with non-state actors, venue selection, and involvement in elections. As groups seek to address pressing issues such as climate change, they must confront deepening partisan polarization and a sophisticated climate change denial movement. At the same time, technological and generational shifts present unique opportunities. In particular, the Internet has facilitated the formation of several new environmental groups, and Millennial (and younger) voters are increasingly concerned about environmental issues and supportive of environmental regulation. Future research should examine the impacts of environmental groups’ involvement in elections and their efforts to shape public opinion through framing. Data gathered through online survey experiments and groups’ communications on social media can shed light on the effectiveness of their communication strategies.