Record Number of NC General Assembly Members Earn Zero on Conservation Scorecard
Since 1999, NC League of Conservation Voters had awarded a combined total of 48 zero scores on its annual scorecard. The recently released 2013 Conservation Scorecard reveals a record 82 legislators with a score of zero, nearly half the entire General Assembly. 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.
Included in this year’s publication is NCLCV’s first gubernatorial review. While the Governor does not vote on specific legislation, his grades are based on what bills he has signed into law, what he has spoken about in public, and other executive actions he has taken. With an overall score of D-, Governor McCrory has much room to improve his positions on conservation issues and move North Carolina in a positive direction.
Historically, North Carolina’s responsible approach to environmental policy-making has served to effectively protect our natural resources while keeping North Carolina at the top of ‘best places to do business’ rankings. In 2013, numerous bills were introduced seeking to weaken or remove crucial pollution control rules. Proposed legislation, much of which passed in various forms, included: a rush to frack, limits on local control over air and water protections, delays for pollution control protections for Jordan Lake water supply, and costly requirements for periodic review and expiration of existing regulations. In addition, critical oversight commissions and boards have been dissolved or restructured in unprecedented ways, allowing the current administration to remove the experienced members from those boards who have made them effective.
“North Carolina has a proud history of making balanced decisions and respecting that clean air, clean water, and beautiful landscapes are precious resources that serve a vital role in attracting people and businesses to our great state,” said Maria Kingery, board president of NCLCV. “North Carolina has been a leader in smart environmental policy in the Southeast for years, and we can be again with strong leadership from our elected officials.”
NCLCV applauds the 27 legislators who went against the anti-regulatory rhetoric and earned a perfect score on this year’s scorecard. A continuing trend that can be seen in the 2013 scorecard is a drop in total average scores. The average score in the House for the 2013 session was 34%, down from 42% in 2012; the Senate average was a mere 28%, compared to 35% in 2012.
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.