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E-M:/ MI LCV Releases 2007 National Environmental Scorecard



 

February 21, 2008

For Immediate Release

 

Contact:

Kerry Duggan, National League of Conservation Voters; (202) 454-4592 or cell (734) 846-0093

Brian Beauchamp, Michigan LCV; (734) 222-9650

or cell (734) 904-9915

 

 

LCV Releases 2007 National Environmental Scorecard

Michigan League of Conservation Voters Applauds Reps. Dingell,

Levin for 90 Percent Scores

 

 

Ann Arbor, MICH – The Michigan League of Conservation Voters (LCV) applauds lawmakers, including Representatives Dingell and Levin, for their work during the first session of the 110th Congress to move America toward a clean energy future and to prepare for the challenge of addressing global warming. LCV’s 2007 National Environmental Scorecard was released today and is available at www.michiganlcv.org. The Scorecard is an annual measure of lawmakers’ votes on environmental issues.

 

LCV President Gene Karpinski said that the National Environmental Scorecard shows that last year “marked a turning point for the environment, and proved that electing pro-environment candidates is a critical first step toward enacting sound environmental policies that will protect our planet and our future.”

 

“The progress of 2007, including passage of the first increase in fuel efficiency standards for automobiles in a generation, was largely due to new leadership in both the House and the Senate, and to the many new members who came to Congress determined to bring about a clean energy future,” Karpinski said.

 

Michigan Scores

 

“Here in Michigan, LCV applauds Reps. John Dingell (D-15th) and Sandy Levin (D-12th) who earned 90 percent scores – the highest in the state delegation,” Michigan LCV Executive Director Lisa Wozniak said. “We are pleased that Rep. Dingell now heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee, replacing Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), whose lifetime score is 7 percent.”

 

“We are disappointed that Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-2nd), who scored an abysmal 5 percent, tried to amend the Intelligence authorization bill (H.R. 2082) to strike a provision calling for a National Intelligence Estimate to examine the national security implications of global warming. Fortunately, the House rejected the amendment,” Wozniak said. “Reps. Tim Walberg (R-7th) and Michael J. Rogers (R-8th) also earned poor scores of 5 percent, while Dave Camp (R-4th) scored a zero.

 

New Members Who Defeated ‘Dirty Dozen’ Score High

 

“Our 2006 campaigns also helped defeat 9 out of 13 of LCV’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ members, who had a combined average lifetime score of just 8 percent, while the new members who replaced them have a combined average score of 88 percent,” Karpinski said.

 

The “Dirty Dozen” program targets members of Congress, regardless of party affiliation, who consistently vote against the environment and are running in races where LCV has a serious chance of affecting the outcome. In 2006, LCV’s “Dirty Dozen” included Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) and Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), both of whom were defeated after consistently siding with oil interests instead of the people they were elected to represent. While Pombo’s LCV lifetime score was 7 percent, his replacement, Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), scored 90 percent. Burns, whose lifetime score was 5 percent, has now been replaced by Sen. John Tester (D-MT), who scored 80 percent.

 

Presidential Candidates’ Scores

 

  • The presidential candidates' scores all suffered from the occupational hazard of absenteeism. Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) missed four votes each in 2007, although both made a point of being on hand for the key vote that would have allowed a version of the energy bill to move forward that included a provision to repeal billions of dollars in tax breaks for big oil and put that money toward clean energy programs. Clinton’s score in 2007 was 73 percent (87 percent lifetime); Obama’s was 67 percent (86 percent lifetime).
  • Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) scored 0 percent in 2007 (24 percent lifetime) due to missing all 15 votes scored, including the key vote on repealing tax giveaways to big oil – a measure that failed by only one vote.

 

“As we begin the second half of the 110th Congress, we realize we still have a long way to go. But we have high hopes that lawmakers will build on the progress of 2007,” said National LCV Campaign Project Manager Kerry Duggan. “Most important, they must heed the warnings of the world’s leading climate scientists who say we have a very short window in which to avert the catastrophic effects of global warming.

 

“This year, LCV urges Congress to pass legislation reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15-20 percent by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050. Our future depends on it, and LCV will continue to work hard to educate the public on which lawmakers are helping us achieve those goals.”

 

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