February 21, 2008

Whitehouse Earns High Marks from National Environmental Group

League of Conservation Voters Rankings Reflect Commitment to Cleaner Environment

Washington, D.C. – A national environmental advocacy organization has given U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) one of its highest ratings for his strong voting record in support of environmental initiatives last year.

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) rated members of Congress on their support for legislation to combat global warming and promote energy efficiency in votes last year. Whitehouse’s 93 percent score in the 2007 Environmental Scorecard placed him in the top 20 percent of the Senate. Combined with U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.)’s identical score, Rhode Island’s Senate delegation was one of the six most pro-environment in the country.

“In our Ocean State, few things are more important to us than our environment,” said Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. “I’m proud to stand with Senator Reed to fight to keep Rhode Island’s waters and open spaces clean and protected, from Narragansett Bay to the Blackstone River Valley.”

In 2007, Whitehouse voted to pass new energy legislation that set higher standards to control automobile emissions. He also voted against weaker permitting procedures for oil refineries, natural gas drilling off the coast of Virginia, and increasing the use of fuel made from liquid coal, an enormous potential source of pollution.

As a member of the EPW Committee, Whitehouse is building a strong record as a fighter for the environment. Together with Reed, Whitehouse championed legislation supporting the restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems in Rhode Island and across the country. The Estuary Restoration Act (ERA) became law last November as part of a larger, bipartisan measure passed by Congress over President Bush’s veto.

Last year, Whitehouse introduced the Global Warming Wildlife Survival Act (S. 2204), which calls for a coordinated national strategy to help wildlife populations, habitats, and coastal and marine ecosystems adapt to stresses related to global warming. This bill, along with a Whitehouse amendment to help coastal communities prepare for and adapt to global warming’s effects, was included in legislation aimed at reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Security Act (S. 2191) passed the EPW Committee in December 2007 with Whitehouse’s support and awaits consideration by the full Senate. Whitehouse also traveled to Greenland with committee members to see firsthand the effects of global warming on Greenland’s ice cap.

Read the full League of Conservation Voters report at http://lcv.org/scorecard/2007.pdf.

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