NEW YORK — Today, Thursday, Dec. 7, Environment New York (ENY) released its federal scorecard evaluating how the New York 115th congressional delegation has voted when it comes to clean air, clean water and other issues of environmental protection.
“The country is terribly polarized these days on all sorts of issues, including the need to protect our environment. It shouldn’t be this way and it didn’t used to be,” said ENY Director Heather Leibowitz. “Unfortunately, the New York delegation is no exception.”
According to Leibowitz, members of the U.S. Senate voted to support the environment on 48 percent of the time on bills regarding things like incentivizing sustainable energy, confirmation of federal appointees, wildlife refuges, mining of national forests, methane emissions and more. In the U.S. House of Representatives, members voted with environmental advocates only 45 percent of the time. “The two senators from New York averaged 100 percent,” Leibowitz said of Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, “and our house members averaged 73 percent. So, New York is well above the national average.” (Absences were counted against a member’s score.)
Twelve congresspeople from New York voted with environmental advocates 100 percent of the time: Representatives Kathleen Rice (D-NY-4), Grace Meng (D-NY-6), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-7), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-8), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13), Joseph Crowley (D-NY-14), Jose Serrano (D-NY-15), Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), as well as Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
“We also had a few members who were willing to part with their Republican colleagues to protect the environment. Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), John Faso (R-NY-19), and John Katko (R-NY-24) voted against limiting EPA’s ability to curb methane emissions,” said Leibowitz. “But, unfortunately New York also had seven members who voted with us less than 25 percent of the time, including Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1), Peter King (R-NY-2), Dan Donovan (R-NY-11), John Faso (R-NY-19), Claudia Tenney (R-NY-22), Tom Reed (R-NY-23), and Chris Collins (R-NY-27).
“The New York delegation is a mixed bag when it comes to the environment,” she said. “Here’s hoping our Congresspeople uniformly start to show the kind of strong and effective leadership we need to reflect the core environmental values so many of us share.”