New Jersey Focus: Environmental Score Card Shows Big Dip in Scores
...Environment New Jersey released its bi-annual legislative scorecard to measure how the green rhetoric of Garden State legislators in the 213th Legislative session matched their voting records. The results showed revealed a mix of environmental heroes and zeroes and an overall significant dip in the average score for both Houses.
The group released scorecards for all members of the 213th Legislature, which included 43 members of the Senate (due to retirements) and 87 members of the Assembly (due to retirements, indictments and deaths). The average score for both the State Senate and the State Assembly took a big dip to 55% from both Senate and Assembly members, from 70% and 75% respectively...
Asw. Linda Greenstein (D-14), Asm. Peter Barnes (D-18) and Sen. Bob Smith (D-17) and Sen. Shirley Turner (D-15) all received 100% marks on the scorecard. Asw. Greenstein was the only legislator to earn a repeat 100% score.
“Being a good steward of the environment is about protecting our natural resources but also maintaining the quality of life that these resources provide for our families,” said Asw. Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro). “I am proud of my record on key environmental issues affecting the state, and know that we need to continue to move towards a more sustainable New Jersey that will benefit generations to come.”
Half of the eight votes scored involved land use issues, from stopping rollbacks to open space protections to parks funding, and the other half involved clean energy and energy efficiency measures. The votes ranged from June 2008 to January 2010.
“I am truly honored to receive this distinction from a group that has made it its mission to protect New Jersey’s environment,” said Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer). “Over the past few months, we have seen the detrimental environmental effects caused by negligence in development. Now more than ever, we must do all we can to help protect our environment through development regulations, reducing auto and machine emissions and conserving our natural resources; we must never take them for granted. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the Legislature to craft and see signed into law measures that help to protect the health and well being of the people of this state.”
All of the clean energy votes were pro-active votes to expand clean energy and energy efficiency, while all of the land use and open space bills were efforts to rollback environmental protections or restore cut parks funding
“Standing up for the environment is never easy in Trenton, and these four legislators should be commended for their perfect 100% records,” said O’Malley. “All of these legislators stood up and voted for the environment against rollbacks despite pressure to do otherwise...”
The four legislators who earned the dubious distinction of ranking 0% included Asm. Gary Chiusano (R-24), Asw. Alison Littel McHose (R-24), Asm. Jay Webber (R-26) and now retired Asm. Rick Merkt (R-25).
Just to note the obvious: ALL of those who received 100% ratings are Democrats and ALL of those who received a 0% rating are Republicans. This underscores a very key difference between the two parties. Democrats may still have a long way to go on environmental issues like Green Jobs and alternative energy and green space, but they still rank far, far better than the Greedy Oil Party.
For the full scorecard (PDF) please go here.