Monday, May 14, 2007

Garrett "improves" on Environment

Here's an interesting story from the Courier News about a grassroots Republican group's ratings of Republicans on conservation. In its annual report card, the Republicans for Environmental Protection gave Representative Scott Garrett a 33 for his environmental record, which is twice his score from the previous year. The average score was 83 for the New Jersey Republican delegation, with Mike Ferguson & Frank LoBiondo getting perfect 100's and Jim Saxton getting extra-credit for a 104. Needless to say, Garrett was an average killer.

It's good to see there's an organization within the Republican Party keeping true to the legacy of conservationism handed down to them by Teddy Roosevelt. Just to see how their rank compared to others, I checked against the League of Conservation Voters, who gave Garrett a 25 for 2006. Considering the LCV gave Garrett a 10 back in 2003, taken at face value, it appears he's getting ever so slightly better.

However, the Courier News's story pointed this little tidbit out about the REP's scorecard:

The average score of House Republicans was 30 for last year, up from 14 in 2005.
So basically, Garrett maintained his practice of voting the party line and the Republicans as a whole improved ever so slightly. That being pointed out, I'm sure Garrett will highlight the entire delegation's pro-environmental record, as he did when touting the passage of the earmark reform that he voted against.

We're fortunate in NJ to have the delegation we have, on both sides of the aisle, when it comes to their commitment to the environment. As I try to explain to people, being from the state that's home to more Superfund sites than anywhere else in the nation, our Representatives should have an understanding of what a lack of environmental protection looks like. With the exception of Garrett, they seem to get it.

In an overwhelmingly pro-environment Congressional Delegation, including LoBiondo and Saxton who comprised 25% of the House Republicans endorsed by the Sierra Club last year, Garrett sticks out like rotten thumb.

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