FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeff Gohringer, (202) 454-4573 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, DC- The League of Conservation Voters today released a new report outlining where every member of the United States Senate stood on environmental priorities during consideration of Senator Murray’s budget resolution. These votes on climate change, clean air, and the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline provided the first glimpse of where this Senate stands on the environment and public health, and will be seriously considered for inclusion in this year's National Environmental Scorecard.
“These votes are the first look the public will get on whether their Senators stand with them to defend the environment, or whether they side with Big Oil,” said Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters. “Corporate polluters tried to get a clean sweep on their anti-environment priorities, but these votes make clear there’s strong support in the Senate for President Obama and the EPA to continue fighting climate change and protecting public health.”
During the budget process, new and returning Senators took their first key environmental votes of the new Congress. The Senate strongly rejected attempts to undermine climate and clean air protections, with a bipartisan majority voting against defunding efforts to curb greenhouse gas and weakening the EPA’s landmark Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants. The Senate also prevented an attempt to block Congress from making polluters pay for the carbon pollution they spew into the air.
Big Oil did buy itself a meaningless victory on an amendment supporting approval and construction of the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Though a win for the oil industry, the amendment changed nothing - the ultimate decision on the pipeline remains with Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama. Since the vote, the tar sands oil spill in Arkansas has further highlighted just how risky the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would be. The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would be nearly twice as wide as the one that ruptured in Arkansas, and would carry almost nine times as much tar sands oil every day.
These votes will be strongly considered for inclusion in LCV’s 2013 National Environmental Scorecard. For over 40 years, the National Environmental Scorecard has been the nationally accepted yardstick to rate members of Congress on environmental, public health, and energy issues.
In February, LCV released the 2012 National Environmental Scorecard, which covered votes during the second session of the 112th Congress. The Scorecard reflected the U.S. House of Representatives’ extreme assault on our environmental and public health safeguards at a time of extreme weather events across the country, including extraordinary heat waves, severe drought and the devastating impacts of Hurricane Sandy.