Brooklyn lawmakers do fine by the environment

Brooklyn’s lawmakers in Washington received glowing grades on their 2009 National Environmental Scorecard, according to the national League of Conservation voters (LCV).

The criteria for the scores comes from how lawmakers voted on 14 bills the LCV supported concerning environmental, public health and energy issues.

Scoring 110 percent were Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Ed Towns, Yvette Clarke and Michael McMahon.

Scoring at 93 percent was Rep. Nydia Velazquez because she missed a vote on a bill that would defund a new position created by President Obama – Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change as well as her deputy and all the employees of the Council on Environmental Quality.

The LCV position was for the lawmakers to vote against the defunding and they count any missed votes as a negative.

Similarly, Rep. Anthony Weiner missed two of the 14 bill votes so his grade was an 86 percent.

One of the votes Weiner missed would have prohibited funding of a biological opinion for the West Coast-based Bay-Delta Estuary and the second provided $5 million in funding to support the conservation of 15 rare cats including lions, leopards and jaguars – all of whom live outside this country.

For one of the bills – The Climate Change and Clean Energy Act – the LCV scored double because they consider its passage vital.

The bill mandates that the country reduce global warming pollution 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, and 83 percent by 2050. It also mandates that 20 percent of American electricity consumption come from clean, renewable sources like solar and wind power with a portion coming from grains by 2020.

On the Senate side, both Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand received 100 percent on voting in line with the LCV on 11 bills.

“Once again, New York ranks among the top congressional delegations in the nation when it comes to fighting for a clean energy future and a healthier environment,” said Marcia Bystryn, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “With few exceptions, their votes speak volumes to the growing importance of the environment as a voting issue across New York State.”