How environmentally friendly is Washington’s congressional delegation?
The following was submitted by Environment Washington.
Today, Environment Washington is releasing our annual scorecard on Washington’s congressional delegation — documenting the lawmakers’ environmental votes over the past two years. These scorecards are an important tool to educate the public about the voting records of their elected officials and to help citizens learn who is an environmental champion and who is a natural disaster.
Nordique via FlickrEnvironment Washington tracked the votes cast on seven key environmental bills in the Senate, ranging from an economic recovery bill that allocates $80 billion to clean energy investment to legislation that protects our coasts from offshore drilling.
In the House of Representatives, decisions made on 15 environmental bills were scored, including legislation to protect the natural beauty of Washington’s own Wild Sky Wilderness area, as well as the iconic Great Lakes to the East.
Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, along with Reps. Jay Inslee, Brian Baird, Rick Larsen, and Norman Dicks of Washington’s House delegation voted for the environment 100 percent of the time in the past two years. Not only is Washington fortunate enough to be represented by six environmental champions, but Washington’s delegation is also free of any natural disasters — i.e. lawmakers who took the anti-environment stance on every vote tracked.
With the help of these decision makers, the 111th Congress is making progress in several key areas. Already, we’ve seen the historic passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act through the House, putting America on track to repower the country with clean energy and limit global warming pollution.
Washington is one of 14 states that can pride itself on having a fully stocked Senate, one where both senators are environmental champions. We will need these environmental powerhouses to champion strong legislation in 2010 as the Senate continues to consider legendary environmental legislation, especially the critically necessary climate bill.
At the national level, 40 senators and 144 representatives took the pro-environment position on every vote tracked for the 2009 Scorecard. Unfortunately, 26 senators and 17 representatives consistently took the anti-environment stance.
We urge other members of Washington’s congressional delegation to be green — join with these environmental champions and work together to strengthen our environmental laws to stop global warming pollution, move America towards a cleaner energy future, and clean up America’s most treasured waterways.
Decisions made in the next six months will reveal how progressive the 111th Congress has become. Will America forge a national commitment to tackle the problem of global warming pollution and will the critical protections of the clean water act be restored?
Your voice can make the difference between a champion and a disaster, have it heard here.
The scorecard and key to the votes scored within can be viewed online here. Environment Washington is a nonprofit, nonpartisan environmental advocacy organization.