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New Mexico Delegation Ranks High on Conservation Scorecard

The Shiprock is one of New Mexico's iconic natural landmarks. The state's congressional delegation is ranked among the best for its voting record on pro-conservation legislation. (Wikimedia Commons)
The Shiprock is one of New Mexico's iconic natural landmarks. The state's congressional delegation is ranked among the best for its voting record on pro-conservation legislation. (Wikimedia Commons)
February 29, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. - New Mexico's delegation was ranked among the best in Congress for pro-environment voting by the League of Conservation Voters in its 2015 annual scorecard.

New Mexico's voting record stands in stark contrast to many of its neighboring western states, such as Utah, Arizona and Texas, which ranked near the bottom of the list.

Sara Chieffo, the League's vice-president for government affairs, says New Mexico officials took a strong conservation stance in Washington, D.C.

"The story in 2015 in New Mexico was one of leadership out of the Senate, with Senator (Martin) Heinrich earning 96 percent and Senator Tom Udall as well scoring very high marks at 92 percent," says Chieffo.

Both senators are Democrats. Chieffo says in the House, New Mexico Representatives Ben Lujan had a 94 percent rating and Michelle Lujan Grisham had 80 percent. Both also are Democrats.

Steven Pierce, the delegation's only Republican, was rated at 6 percent.

Chieffo says the League has issued its scorecard each year since 1970. She adds that as the makeup of Congress has changed over recent years, so has its treatment of environmental and conservation issues.

"It's a clear recognition of the deep and broad assault we've seen on our environment in this U.S. House of Representatives," she says. "And unfortunately this year, they were joined in the Senate."

Chieffo says that for 2015, the conservation scorecard rated the entire Senate at 45 percent, and the House at only 41 percent.

The Senate and House ratings a decade ago were at 52 and 53 percent, respectively.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - NM