The Billings Outpost

Tester, Baucus score high on environmental scorecard

By DEBORAH COURSON SMITH - Big Sky Connection

Montana’s congressional delegation earned some of the highest and lowest numbers on a new annual scorecard from the League of Conservation Voters.

Members of Congress were rated on their 2013 votes in the House and Senate on bills connected to clean energy, wildlife issues and land conservation. Former Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., earned 85 percent; Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., earned 92 percent; and Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., earned 4 percent, said Theresa Keaveny, executive director of Montana Conservation Voters.

“We are hoping,” she said, “that in the next year, Congressman Daines gets more in step with Montana voters, who in poll after poll show their support for our clean and healthful environment, for clean water and our open spaces.”

Keaveny said Daines has voted to side with oil companies over protecting water, air and Montana’s outdoor heritage. Montana Conservation Voters and League of Conservation Voters are nonpartisan groups that focus on conservation issues and public health protections.

Keaveny said climate change, which science shows is caused by fossil-fuel pollution, is one of her group’s priorities, impacting family farm and ranch agriculture, fish and wildlife and Montana’s outdoor economy.

“We are very concerned that the impacts of climate change are ones that aren’t going to go away,” she said, “and we need to see action in Congress to move us towards a clean, renewable energy future.”

The average score nationwide was 58 percent for the Senate and 43 percent for the House. The National Environmental Scorecard has been issued annually for more than 40 years.

The scorecard is online at scorecard.lcv.org.

 

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