Members of NC General Assembly Earn Unprecedented 44 Zeros
The 2011-12 North Carolina legislative session was without question one of the worst for the environment in history, characterized by reckless decisions with serious and long term implications for public health, our state’s natural landscape, and North Carolina’s economy. Since 1999, NC League of Conservation Voters has handed out only four “zero” scores on the Legislative Scorecard, the last in 2001. During the 2012 Short Session, 44 legislators earned “zeros.” The Conservation Scorecard gives each state legislator a score of 0 to 100 based on his or her votes on key environmental bills in the recent session of the General Assembly. The Scorecard is a valuable tool voters can use to evaluate which legislators best represent their environmental values.
The current General Assembly leadership has pursued an unprecedented and aggressive anti-regulatory agenda. This agenda has threatened to undo many of North Carolina’s major environmental achievements of the past 40 years. Legislators have fast-tracked the legalization of untested hydraulic fracturing; rolled back rules to clean up key drinking water supplies; prohibited the adoption of policies regarding sea-level rise; passed a budget which cuts funding for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund by 90% and dismantles and underfunds the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; and undermined our health-based air toxics program.
“The 2012 legislative session was characterized by a wanton disregard for the natural heritage of our state,” said Dan Crawford, director of governmental relations for NCLCV. “Many of these decisions were made under the false rhetoric that “regulations kill jobs.” But voters understand that a strong economy and a clean environment are inseparable, and we’re confident that will show in the November elections.”
NCLCV applauds the 29 legislators who went against the anti-regulatory rhetoric and earned a perfect score on this year’s Scorecard. The average score in the House for the 2011-12 session was 42%, down from 67% for the 2009-2010 average; the Senate average was a mere 31%, compared to 69% in 2009-2010. During the 2012 Short Session, over half the House and nearly half the Senate earned a score of 10 or below.
The complete Scorecard, as well as previous years, can be viewed online at: http://nclcv.org/scorecard.
North Carolina League of Conservation Voters is a pragmatic, nonpartisan, advocacy organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing North Carolina‚s natural environment. For over 40 years, NCLCV has been turning environmental values into North Carolina priorities by helping to elect pro-conservation candidates and holding them accountable for their decisions that affect the environment.