WASHINGTON D.C. – The League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the independent political voice for the environment, today announced that U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) are the first two members of its 2008 “Dirty Dozen” list. This is the earliest in a campaign cycle LCV has ever named members to the Dirty Dozen.
“America’s energy future was a decisive issue in the last election and poll after poll indicates that energy and global warming will be decisive issues in 2008,” LCV President Gene Karpinski said. “During the 2006 elections, while 94 percent of incumbents won re-election, we defeated 9 out of 13 members of LCV’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ list. In 2008, we plan to continue our success rate of defeating members of the Dirty Dozen. Senator Inhofe and Representative Knollenberg were named to the Dirty Dozen so early because they are two of the biggest opponents in Congress when it comes to making progress on global warming and clean energy.”
LCV's trademark Dirty Dozen program targets members of Congress — regardless of party affiliation -- who consistently vote against the environment and are up for re-election in races where LCV has a serious chance to affect the outcome. Since the Dirty Dozen was launched in 1996, LCV has defeated more than half of the candidates named to the list. In 2006 alone, LCV ousted several supposedly “undefeatable” incumbents such as former House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo and former Senator Conrad Burns. Other Dirty Dozen members who were defeated in ’06 include: Senators George Allen (R-VA), Rick Santorum (R-PA), and Jim Talent (R-MO), and Representatives Bob Beauprez (R-CO), Katherine Harris (R-FL), J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), Richard Pombo (R-CA), and Charles Taylor (R-NC). In addition, two members of the Dirty Dozen resigned: Reps. Tom Delay (R-TX) and Bob Ney (R-OH).
Dirty Dozen Member # 1: Senator Jim Inhofe
“Our future will be significantly impacted by how we work to fight global warming, yet Senator Jim Inhofe won’t even acknowledge that global warming exists,” LCV Senior Vice President Tony Massaro said. “During his tenure in Congress, Senator Inhofe has made it his mission to vote against commonsense solutions to global warming and our nation’s energy challenges, earning an abysmal 5 percent lifetime LCV voting score and a place on our ‘Dirty Dozen’ list.”
As Ranking Member and Former Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Jim Inhofe has earned his place at the top of the Dirty Dozen for consistently voting against important environmental protections. In fact, Sen. Inhofe doesn’t even believe the world’s best scientists on global warming. This belief puts Sen. Inhofe at odds with President Bush and members of his own party. When it comes to his voting record, he has voted against any amount of progress on addressing global warming pollution or investing in clean, renewable energy. Sen. Inhofe not only continues to vote against policies to set America on a cleaner, more sustainable energy path, but he has vowed to filibuster any climate change-related legislation that comes to the Senate floor. In addition, Sen. Inhofe has frequently voted on the side of polluters, not for the health and safety of Oklahoma families. Since 2001, Senator Inhofe has taken $636,965 from polluting energy interests. For more on Senator Inhofe’s voting record on energy and global warming, visit LCV’s Operation Spotlight project: http://lcv.org/OperationSpotlight/home.html#Inhofe
Dirty Dozen Member # 2: Representative Joe Knollenberg
The second person added to the Dirty Dozen today is Representative Joe Knollenberg (R-MI). While Rep. Knollenberg calls himself an environmentalist saying that “protecting, preserving, and providing for the health of our environment is one of his top priorities,” his record paints a much different picture. Rep. Knollenberg has repeatedly voted for corporate polluters and against environmental protections, earning him a lifetime LCV score of only 7 percent. Rep. Knollenberg has strongly opposed all attempts to raise fuel economy standards for cars and trucks. In 1998 and 1999, Knollenberg attached a rider known as 'the Knollenberg amendment' to congressional budget appropriation bills to prevent government agencies from doing anything that would regulate global warming pollution, including forbidding the EPA from holding educational seminars about global warming. In August 2007, he voted against a provision that would increase the amount of renewable energy produced in the United States.
“Michigan families need to ask, ‘whose side is Representative Joe Knollenberg really on?’” LCV President Gene Karpinski said. “Rep. Knollenberg’s record clearly shows that he votes for policies that reward his corporate contributors rather than supporting clean energy solutions to our energy challenges that would help fight global warming. We want to help inform Rep. Knollenberg’s constituents about his terrible environmental voting record – he can’t hide from it any longer.”
Since 2001, Rep. Knollenberg has taken $642,388 from polluting energy interests. To view Rep. Knollenberg’s recent votes on clean energy and global warming, go to: http://lcv.org/OperationSpotlight/home.html#Knollenberg
LCV will name the rest of the 2008 Dirty Dozen members in the coming months: stay tuned. For more on LCV’s 2006 Dirty Dozen list, check out: http://www.lcv.org/campaigns/dirty-dozen
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The nonprofit League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is the independent political voice for the environment.
To secure the environmental future of our planet, LCV's mission is to advocate for sound environmental policies
and to elect pro-environmental candidates who will adopt and implement such policies.