WASHINGTON - The League of Conservation Voters (LCV), which works to turn environmental values into national priorities, today announced the final roster of the 2008 Dirty Dozen.
LCV's trademark Dirty Dozen program targets candidates for Congress — regardless of party affiliation — who consistently vote against clean energy and conservation and are running in races in which LCV has a serious chance to affect the outcome.
"The Dirty Dozen represent the biggest roadblocks in Congress on the road to America’s clean energy future," said LCV President Gene Karpinski. "Siding with the oil industry at every turn, they have consistently voted against policies that would create jobs, ensure our national security, and guarantee a sustainable future for our country."
Since the Dirty Dozen was launched in 1996, LCV has defeated more than half of the candidates named to the list. During the 2006 elections, while 94 percent of incumbents won re-election, LCV defeated 9 out of 13 members of its Dirty Dozen list and ousted several supposedly "undefeatable" incumbents such as former House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo and former Senator Conrad Burns. The combined average LCV score of those defeated incumbents was 8%*. The new members who replaced them have a combined average score of 90%.
"Members of Congress who have consistently sided with the oil industry and against the interests of those they are elected to represent need to go," said Karpinski. "LCV is proud of its record of defeating members of the Dirty Dozen and we expect to build on that record in 2008."
The final 2008 list includes:
Jim Inhofe - Inhofe has a lifetime LCV score of 4%, one of the lowest in Congress. He refuses to acknowledge the existence of global warming and consistently has voted on the side of polluters while taking more than $1.1 million in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests.
Mitch McConnell - McConnell has a measly 7% lifetime LCV score, has earned an annual score of 0% an astounding 12 times, and has cast only three pro-conservation votes in the last 14 years. He has accepted $713,961 from oil and gas interests. McConnell was overwhelmingly chosen as the 2008 candidate who has committed the most egregious environmental offenses in an online vote by over 25,000 concerned citizens.
Steve Pearce - Pearce earned a pathetic 3% lifetime LCV score and has earned three 0% scores in his tenure. Since his election, there have been 93 key conservation votes in Congress and, in all but three, Pearce has voted against clean air, clean energy, and protecting our natural heritage. He has accepted more from the oil and gas industry, $706,324, than from any other economic sector.
Joe Knollenberg - Knollenberg has repeatedly voted for corporate polluters and against environmental protections, earning him a lifetime LCV score of only 9%. A strong opponent of fuel efficiency and renewable energy, he has taken $642,388 in contributions from polluting energy interests since 2001.
Bob Schaffer - A career politician-turned-oil executive, Schaffer has a 5% LCV lifetime. He was a major proponent of the Bush/Cheney energy plan, which doled out $33 billion in tax breaks for the energy industry. Now, as an energy executive, he has made oil deals in Iraq and his company has sided with the dirty energy of the past instead of the clean, renewable energy of the future. He has accepted $242,826 from oil and gas interests.
Mary Landrieu - Landrieu boasts the worst LCV Lifetime score of any Democrat in the Senate currently running for re-election. She has accepted more than $666,994 from the oil and gas industries and in 2003, 2005, and 2007 voted to give billions in tax breaks and subsidies to oil companies while voting against fuel efficiency 11 times since 1999.
Ted Stevens - Since 1977, Stevens has voted for billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil companies. His lifetime LCV score is a mere 13% and he is awaiting a verdict after being accused of taking illegal gifts from oil industry executives. He has accepted nearly half a million dollars in legal donations from oil and gas interests as well.
Sam Graves - Grave's lifetime LCV score is a feeble 4%. Since elected, he has consistently voted in line with the failed Bush/Cheney energy policies. He voted against efforts to increase the use of clean energy technologies, against maintaining the standards of the Clean Water Act, and against taking away royalties and tax incentives for Big Oil.
Dean Andal - Andal received an embarrassing 9% lifetime score from the California League of Conservation Voters. During his time as a state senator, he voted against banning offshore drilling and routinely opposed legislation promoting fuel efficiency and cutting petroleum use, measures that would save consumers hundreds of dollars each year.
Elizabeth Dole - Dole's lifetime LCV score is 12%. She is one of Big Oil's biggest Congressional allies, and has consistently voted to extend tax breaks and subsidies to the industry, weaken CAFÉ standards, and eliminate any increase in renewable energy production. She has accepted $312,606 from the oil and gas industry.
Don Young - Young has served in Congress over 30 years, has a lifetime LCV score of just 9%, and has scored 0% a staggering 13 times on LCV's National Scorecard. Time and time again he has voted against repealing subsides for Big Oil which is not surprising considering he has accepted more that $963,763 from the oil and gas industry since taking office.
Anne Northup - Northup has a lifetime LCV score of only 7% and voted against every major piece of environmental legislation in the 109th Congress. She has accepted $334,877 from oil and gas interests during her career.
Tim Walberg - Walberg distinguished himself as one of the most anti-environment members of the 2006 Congressional class, has an abysmal 3% LCV lifetime score, and, in 2008, voted against every major piece of clean energy and energy efficiency legislation.
* The non-partisan LCV National Environmental Scorecard is a nationally accepted yardstick used to rate Members of Congress on conservation and clean energy issues. Based on key conservation votes in the House and Senate, it is often used by the media to quickly describe a Member's record. For more information, visit www.lcv.org/scorecard.
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