During the budget debate at the end of March, Senators took their first major environmental votes of the new Congress, going on record about priorities like climate change, air pollution, and the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This series of votes was our first glimpse into whether our newest Senators will stand with the American people or with Big Oil and their corporate allies. Today we launched a special section on our Scorecard website allowing the public to see just where their Senator stood.
Many Senators stood up for the environment and public health, by voting against polluter-driven attempts to undermine clean air protections, prevent Congress from curbing carbon pollutions, and support construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. LCV helped elect many allies to the Senate last November, and they showed what a difference an environmental champion can make. New Senators like Chris Murphy (CT), Angus King (ME), Tim Kaine (VA), Martin Heinrich (NM), Mazie Hirono (HI) Tammy Baldwin (WI), and Elizabeth Warren (MA) stood with the American people rather than the oil industry, and were instrumental in denying many of the items on Big Oil’s wish list.
Unfortunately, there were many Senators like Jeff Sessions (AL), James Inhofe (OK), Marco Rubio (FL), and Roy Blunt (MO), who stood with Big Oil and their corporate allies, instead of the American people. Nonetheless, the Senate ultimately rejected attempts to weaken safeguards against toxic air pollution and prevent Congress from addressing climate change. While Big Oil did buy itself a victory on the amendment supporting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, it’s up to Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama—not Congress—to make the final call on that issue.
Click here to see a grid showing how every Senator voted on these critical issues. Congratulate your Senators for standing up for the environment and protecting public health, or encourage them to do better on the issues you care about.
(Photograph by arbyreed)