Advance Notice: Briefs

Enviro scorecard: Peters, Stabenow earn 100%, Huizenga, Walberg at zero

By: - April 15, 2019 12:55 pm

Sleeping Bear Dunes | Susan J. Demas

Michigan’s congressional delegation lagged those of the greenest states in the nation when it comes to supporting environmentally-friendly federal policy, according to a new report from the League of Conservation Voters.

The report for 2018 — before this current term — offered consistently high marks to Democrats, but few to Republicans, including in Michigan.

The Washington, D.C.-based liberal environmental group graded U.S. House and Senate members based on how they voted on environmental issues, as well as the border wall and immigration policy. Legislators from the West Coast and New England received the highest scores, while those from much of the country’s rural heartland received the lowest.

LCV gave Michigan’s U.S. senators, Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.), both a 100 percent pro-environment track record.

The Michigan U.S. House delegation, which was divided 9-5 in the GOP’s favor in 2018, received a lower score: 42 percent voted in line with LCV priorities, according to the report.

Bill Huizenga (left) and Tim Walberg (right)

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) and former U.S. Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Southfield) were ranked the highest, all with a 97 percent score in the 115th Congress. LCV gave U.S. Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland), Tim Walberg (R-Tipton) and Paul Mitchell (R-Dryden) the lowest marks at 0, 0 and 3 percent, respectively.

The most environmentally friendly congressional votes came from the West Coast, Southwest and Northeast, including California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming and the Dakotas were among those with the lowest scores.

According to its methodology, LCV used a sliding scale of zero to 100 and calculated scores by dividing the number of “pro-environment votes” by the total number of votes cast by each U.S. representative and senator.

LCV did not rank state representatives and senators or include state policy.

The broad federal policy categories considered included air, clean energy, climate change, “dirty energy” (referring to the fossil fuel industry and nuclear industries), drilling, lands/forests, oceans, “toxics/public right to know,” transportation, water and wildlife.

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Michael Gerstein
Michael Gerstein

Michael Gerstein is a former Advance reporter covering the Governor's office, criminal justice and the environment.