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News from Michigan Sierra Club
Sierra Club Releases Scorecard for Michigan Legislators in 2011-2012 Session
Members of both the House and Senate get a failing grade for their votes against the environment
LANSING - The Sierra Club Michigan Chapter today released its 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard, which tracks legislators environmental voting records for the House of Representatives and the Senate. Both chambers scored a failing grade, with the House receiving a 46% and the Senate with a 40%. While the scorecard generally showed that Democrats voted to maintain or strengthen environmental protections, more disturbingly it showed Republicans generally voted to weaken or eliminate environmental protections.
“2011-2012 was by far the most anti-environmental legislature we’ve had in Michigan for decades. It’s extremely frustrating that the environment has become a partisan political issue,” said Mike Berkowitz, the Michigan Legislative Director for the Sierra Club. “Environmental protections are a no-brainer for all Michigan residents. Our members find it hard to believe that so many of our lawmakers are voting against Clean Air, Clean Water, and Public Health. We hope that incoming lawmakers will see our scorecard and be motivated to get rid of this anti-environment attitude in the 2013-2014 legislative session.”
The Sierra Club’s scorecard calculated the results based upon 24 roll call votes in the House and Senate for the 2011-2012 legislative session. According to the Scorecard, House Democrats scored an average of 83 percent, while House Republicans scored an average of 24 percent. Senate Democrats scored an average of 96 percent, while Senate Republicans scored an average of 24 percent. Nine lawmakers scored a perfect 100 percent. A full list of “Environmental Champions” (91-100 percent), “Environmental Stewards” (78-90 percent), and “Pollution Promoters” (zero-25 percent) is included at the end of this release. Every GOP lawmaker scored a failing grade, with Roy Schmidt and Holly Hughes scoring the highest.
“Why does our legislature have the wrong priorities when it comes to protecting Michigan’s environment?” asked James D’Amour, the Michigan Sierra Club’s Vice Political Chair who was once an active member of the Republican Party. “Clean air and clean water should not be partisan issues. We used to be leaders in making conservation a top priority, but not anymore. The new direction of the GOP is disappointing and disheartening for Republicans like me who care about the environment.”The Sierra Club is the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization, with over 170,000 members and supporters in Michigan.
Information courtesy of The Sierra Club