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Anna Aurilio,
Environment America

Congress: More Environmental Champions, But Not Enough

Environment America 2008 Congressional Scorecard Reports More Champions But Many Remaining Challenges
For Immediate Release

Washington, DC — The 2008 Congressional Scorecard, released by Environment America, found more champions and more solution-oriented votes, even as the group noted that passage of environmental protections faces many remaining challenges on Capitol Hill.  

As part of its campaign to promote clean renewable energy for a green economy, Environment America will be distributing the scorecard to more than 1 million households across the county. The goal of this grassroots campaign is to pass federal legislation both to extend tax incentives for clean energy and require increased renewable energy production.

In addition to tracking such key environmental votes as protecting the purity of our air and water; reducing global warming pollution; promoting efficiency and renewable energy; and increasing mileage standards for vehicles, the scorecard also demonstrates the major shift in the types of legislation being addressed in the 110th Congress.

In the last year of the previous Congress (2006), 71 percent of environmental votes scored were defensive in nature.  Environment America found that new leadership in the 110th Congress, and a much higher priority placed on environmental protection, led to 64 percent of the votes prioritized by Environment America being solution-oriented. Additionally, the number of environmental champions doubled from 77 in 2006, to 154 in 2008.

“We applaud 154 members of both the House and Senate for being a champions of the environment. These members received 100 percent scores for consistently voting to protect the environment,” said Environment America’s Washington, D.C ., Director, Anna Aurilio.

With the help of these members of Congress, the 110th Congress is making progress in several key areas. Already, the House of Representatives has voted to cut billions of dollars in subsidies to big oil and both the House and Senate have voted to raise gas mileage standards for the first time in more than 30 years.

“We urge other members of Congress to join with those representatives and senators who already stand up to special interests and put the environment first. We need to continue to work to strengthen our environmental laws to stop global warming pollution, move America towards a clean energy future, and protect America’s most treasured wild places and waterways,” concluded Aurilio.