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Score Card Finds NY Lawmakers ‘Greener than Grass’

October 19, 2007

Albany, NY — The New York Assembly still scores the "greenest," but a new environmental scorecard also finds a far more environmentally friendly State Senate. The scorecard is issued each year in an effort to help voters learn more about how their lawmakers stand on environmental issues.

Rob Moore with EPL Environmental Advocates says this year, lawmakers got bonus points for supporting high-priority "Super Bills," so some even managed more-than-perfect scores.

"Of the Assembly, 43 members scored over 100 this year, which is very unusual. It's also a very telling mark of the success the environment had this year in the legislature."

The State Assembly always has been more environment-friendly of the two Houses; the average score there is 95. The New York Senate is also trending greener, up from a dismal score of 67 last year to a better-than-passing grade of 78.

The so-called "Super Bills" included a measure to boost the money going into the Environmental Protection Fund, which pays for projects across the state.

"It can be everything from stream bank stabilization projects out in the Buffalo area, to helping close old landfills in the Hudson Valley, and all points in between."

There was also a "booby prize," of sorts, this year. It went to opponents of the "Bigger Better Bottle Bill," which aimed to update the state's returnable deposit law to include beverages such as bottled water.

"The 'Oil Slick Award' goes to New Yorkers for Real Recycling Reform, which is really an alliance of grocery stores and beverage manufacturers and distributors who have long opposed the bottle bill, and sunk a huge amount of money lobbying against expanding the state bottle deposit law."

You can find out how your lawmaker scored at www.eplvotersguide.org.

Michael Clifford/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - NY