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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Washington Legislators Score Big on National Environmental Scorecard

Since 1970, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has annually published the National Environmental Scorecard, which rates how members of Congress voted on environmental issues in the past year. The Scorecard Advisory Committee consists of experts from 21 well-respected environmental and conservation organizations. The Committee chooses key environmental votes on which they believe members of Congress should be scored. These votes include environmental issues like energy, public lands, wildlife, environmental spending, and global warming.

The 2011 Scorecard was just released and the GREAT news is…

Washington is one of only 12 states whose Senators, Maria Cantwell (D) and Patty Murray (D), both had an environmental voting score of 100%! On the House side, Washington’s Congressman Jay Inslee (D-CD1) also scored 100%!

Others scoring high on their environmental votes were Congressman Norman Dicks (D-WA06) with a score of 97%, Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA07) with a score of 94%, and both Congressmen Adam Smith (D-WA09) and Rick Larsen (D-WA02) scored 91%. Congressman David Reichert (R-WA08), who has been supportive of Washington Wild and sponsored legislation to designate additional wilderness and wild and scenic rivers in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Valley earned a score of 43%.

For Washington’s remaining representatives in Congress, their environmental ratings showed room for improvement: Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA03) scored a 14%, while Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA04) and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA05) voted for the environment just 9% of the time.

Overall, LCV summarized their findings this way - in this most recent Scorecard, “…the U.S. House of Representatives unleashed a truly breathtaking and unprecedented assault on the environment and public health, the breadth and depth of which have made the current House of Representatives the most anti-environmental in our nation’s history.”

Fortunately for Washington, 7 of our 11 elected officials in Congress are voting for the environment. Washington Wild is committed to working with all of our elected officials in Congress in order to protect wilderness areas.

Feel free to let your Senator and Representative know you care about protecting the environment and think they should too! Exercise your democratic muscles and contact your Representative and Senator today to let them know what you think about their environmental vote score.

Darcey Whitney is Washington Wild’s communication and marketing consultant. She recently moved to Seattle from Hawai΄i, and loves watching her dogs try to catch squirrels.

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