To protect our environment, our staff and members do plenty to hold our elected officials' feet to the fire. Sometimes, though, elected officials deserve our thanks.

That's why Environment America and Environment Florida ran ads on June 30 in the hometown newspapers of Rep. Joe Cunningham (S.C.) and Rep. Francis Rooney (Fla.), thanking them for their work to block offshore drilling. Rep. Rooney, a Republican, is sponsoring a bill that would make permanent a moratorium on drilling in the eastern Gulf. Rep. Cunningham, a Democrat, is spearheading a bill to block new drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific.

"We need more lawmakers who stand ready to take on these fights," said Steve Blackledge, senior director of our national network's Conservation program. "Publicly thanking those who champion the environment is the right and sensible thing to do."

As of this writing, both bills have passed out of committee and are moving forward in the U.S. House of Representatives.

See the ads here and here.

Photo: We thanked Rep. Francis Rooney for his leadership in keeping beaches like this one safe from offshore drilling. Credit: Andreia Reis via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)