Trenton, NJ— Today the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters (NJLCV) released its 2013 Environmental Scorecard. The scorecard rates each member of the New Jersey Senate and Assembly on their conservation record and actions taken to protect the environment in the Garden State.
These scores are based on rigorous analysis, review, and consultation with environmental policy experts from across the state, and track the most important votes made in the 2012 – 2013 legislative session. NJLCV’s scorecard is objective, transparent, and clear, allowing citizens to easily assess support for the environment by each legislator.
“Unlike other scorecards or legislative report cards, our scorecard is an equitable comparison of each Senator and Assemblyperson. NJLCV’s scorecard focuses on bills that were actually brought to a full vote and where the environmental position of NJLCV was directly communicated to each Legislator,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of NJLCV.
The scorecard released today makes it clear that we need more environmental champions in the legislature.
“Clearly, the New Jersey Legislature is headed in the wrong direction. The number of legislators receiving an 80% or better on NJLCV’s scorecard has fallen in both the Senate and Assembly,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of NJLCV. “Both chambers are failing—the Senate earned a dismal average of just 68% with the Assembly close behind at only 67%.”
Among the list of failures, according to NJLCV, was the Legislature’s inability to address climate change by re-entering into the Regional Green House Gases Initiative (RGGI). The Legislature also failed to block the importation of toxic fracking waste into the Garden State from Pennsylvania or reverse a rule by the Administration to waive critical environmental regulations put in place to protect public health and safeguard our natural resources. Two bills passed by both chambers directly threaten our drinking water supply by promoting development in environmentally sensitive areas that supply water to over 60% of New Jerseryans.
“We are deeply troubled about the recent down turn in support for conserving the environment among our elected officials, Our children are counting on adults to stand up for their health and well being,” said Debbie Mans, Chair of NJLCV. “It is clear from looking at the scores of our Legislators that we need more environmental champions in the legislature,” she continued.
NJLCV empowers legislators with the information she or he needs to protect our water, air, and open spaces. NJLCV is leading the effort protect our precious resources by holding legislators accountable for their environmental positions.
In 2013, Democrats in the Senate scored slightly better at safeguarding the environment and improving public health than their Republican counterparts on NJLCV’s report 76% - 61%. In the Assembly the contrast is even more stark with Democrats supporting the environment almost two to one over Republicans, 82% - 44%.
“It is our hope that this scorecard will serve to not only shed light on who is, and who is not, protecting our environment, but as a guidepost against which a legislator can judge their progress towards improving her or his record. The health our families and business depend on better results on subsequent scorecards,” concluded Potosnak.
A direct link to the scorecard http://njlcv.org/Scorecard/NJLCV2013LegislativeScorecardPDF.pdf (15.5MB)
Citizens can find the scorecard at: http://www.njlcv.org/scorecard.html, on Twitter at @NJLCV and using hash tags #NJLCVScore