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New York Lawmakers Get High Marks On Environmental Scorecard

PHOTO: The League of Conservation Voters has released its National Environmental Scorecard tallying the environmental voting record for each member of Congress, and New York lawmakers ranked far better than many of their colleagues. Photo credit: Wally Gobetz/Flickr.
PHOTO: The League of Conservation Voters has released its National Environmental Scorecard tallying the environmental voting record for each member of Congress, and New York lawmakers ranked far better than many of their colleagues. Photo credit: Wally Gobetz/Flickr.
March 3, 2015

NEW YORK - The League of Conservation Voters has released its National Environmental Scorecard tallying the voting record for each member of Congress, and New York lawmakers ranked far better than many of their colleagues.

Most of New York's congressional delegation earned marks of 80 percent or better, with the group supporting the vast majority of their key environmental votes. Alex Taurel, deputy legislative director of the League of Conservation Voters, says that puts the state far above average.

"New York congressmen and senators are, on the whole, doing great work protecting our environment," says Taurel. "New York is on balance a very pro-environment state, and you see that reflected in the average score of the delegation being super-high."

New York's senators averaged 70 percent on the scorecard, exceeding the national Senate average of 44 percent. On the House side, members averaged 73 percent, over a national average of 43 percent. A perfect score went to Representative Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) of western New York.

Not all of New York's lawmakers cast votes the league agreed with. The group gave low marks to five of the six Republicans representing the state, noting they align with a pro-industry trend in the House. But Taurel pointed to one Republican, Representative Chris Gibson (R-Kinderhook) from the Hudson Valley, who bridged the partisan divide.

"He's the highest scoring Republican in Congress, House or Senate," says Taurel. "A guy who's looking out for his constituents, and we think he's doing a good job. We're going to continue to work with him to protect our environment."

The National Environmental Scorecard reviewed votes on climate change, energy policy, and a host of other environmental issues in the 113th Congress. This year's report tied for the most House votes the group has scored in its history.

Derek Hawkins, Public News Service - NY