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Environment key issue in 46th Senate District

Breslin scored a 92 this year, according to the EPL/Environmental Advocates scoring report. The Average score among Senators was 75 for Republicans, 85 for Democrats.

He said his score reflects his attitude toward the environment.

Voelker cited some hurdles that will need to be overcome before the reform can reach its full potential.

He said the U.S. power grid is not able to generate large amounts of wind energy.

He also said that local businesses are interested in the reform, but the current "power producers" want status quo, citing special interest money as a problem.

Voelker said people who are not interested in seeking out alternative energy sources are either "misguided or have a lot of investments in Exxon-Mobil."

Another shortcoming of net metering is that it does not affect enough people, since a majority of homeowners do not use alternative energy.

He also said there is a lack of manufacturers for alternative energy, specifically solar panels.

Voelker said he wanted to see some other initiatives passed as well. He said funding government agencies that support environmentally friendly initiatives is important, but the state needs to take a stand and understand that changing the poor environmental practices will not be easy.

He said there should be mandates that all state-funded buildings have adequate recycling programs, and he said many state buildings and state parks do not have adequate recycling containers available.

"You'll find them, but you have to look for them," he said.

"The environment is a national crisis. People are going to start to have to make sacrifices. We can make money recycling. We can make money on energy."

He said the process starts with education. Kids must be taught in school how to treat the environment.

Breslin also said there are several other important pieces of legislation he would like to see passed, including the Bigger, Better, Bottle Bill; increased funding for mass transit; tax breaks for generating clean energy; more protection of the wetlands and federal mandates on car manufactures for higher miles-per-gallon of gasoline.

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