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Oregon League of Conservation Voters and National League of Conservation Voters Endorse Jeff Merkley for U. S. Senate

Contact: Joshua McNeil, (202) 785-8683 or July 31, 2008  

The national League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV) announced a joint endorsement of the Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, Jeff Merkley, for U.S. Senate. The people of Oregon have a clear choice this November: help Jeff Merkley pursue a clean energy future that creates jobs and curbs global warming, or let Gordon Smith continue the failed energy policies of the Bush Administration that put America on track for economic disaster and destroys the planet.  The choice is clear.

“Jeff Merkley’s proven leadership on global warming and clean energy will help to break the Senate stalemate in Washington,” LCV President Gene Karpinski said. “Speaker Merkley’s plan to deal with global warming will simultaneously end America’s addiction to oil, protect the planet for future generations and bring clean energy jobs to Oregon. He knows that Oregon families deserve real energy choices.”

Speaker Merkley has a plan for energy independence and conservation which meets the targets set by top scientists and proposes significant federal investment in renewable energy, reduction in carbon emissions, incentives to reduce climate change and research and development into conservation, clean energy and carbon capture and storage.

“As the Speaker of the House, Jeff Merkley has made Oregon a leader in clean energy alternatives,” OLCV Executive Director Jonathan Poisner said. “His 96% lifetime environmental score in the legislature reflects his commitment to clean air, clean water, and Oregon’s natural beauty.  Oregon will miss him in the legislature, but America deserves Jeff Merkley’s leadership in the Senate.”

Meanwhile, incumbent Sen. Gordon Smith routinely changes his position on global warming, failing to present a steadfast dedication to passing climate change legislation. His lifetime LCV score is an unfortunate 32%.  He has voted against key clean air, clean water, and conservation legislation.

"With the exception of Congressman Walden, Gordon Smith has the lowest environmental score of any member of the Oregon delegation," Karpinski said. “In 2005, Smith voted to kill a resolution that put the Senate on record saying that global warming is real and that mandatory limits are necessary to slow, stop, and reverse the growth of global warming pollution. [Roll Call #149, Amendment 866, 22 June 2005]

“I am honored by these endorsements,” Merkley said. “With genuine, consistent leadership and a commitment to clean energy, America can reduce gas prices, stop global warming and break our addiction to oil.  I have fought to make Oregon a national leader in clean energy, and as a Senator, I will fight to make America the clean energy leader of the world.”

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