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National Environmental Scorecard shows Republican congressmen vote anti-environment

Senior Reporter

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 00:02

Republicans are viewed at an all-time low when it comes to environmentally friendliness, including Texas representatives and senators, according to a recent report.

The League of Conservation Votersrecently published the National Environmental Scorecardfor the first session of the 113th Congress revealing an overwhelming neglect of pro-environmental voting for Republican House of Representatives members and Senators nationwide.

Published annually, scorecards serve as voting records for each respective session of congress and provide a way for the public to compare different representatives and senators as well as each state as a whole. The LCV first began publishing the National Environmental Scorecard in 1970.

These scores are calculated by dividing the number of pro-environment votes cast by the total number of votes tallied and can range anywhere from 0 to 100.

Despite President Barack Obama’s dedication to address environmental problems, this year, scorecards exposed the lowest average congressional Republican scores over the last 43 years since the scorecards were first published, averaging at five percent.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, is one of the representatives who contributed to the low voting record, according to the report.

In 2013, Brady voted for two of the ten pro-environmental actions taken into consideration on the scorecards, which included the flood insurance reform and the anti-environmental farm bill, receiving a total score of seven percent.

“I disagree with some of the principles [the LCV] opposes such as the Keystone pipeline. I support it because I think it’s important for us to take the oil from Canada, refine it in our Texas refineries and use it in America because that oil will go somewhere—China or somewhere else, with less environmental regulation,” Brady said. “Also, I like the development of oil and natural gas, especially natural gas, it’s much cleaner burning, it’s abundant, and some of the priorities such as global warming, we see differently—so I just disagree with some of their basic views.”

In addition to differing opinions, Brady said his environmental decisions can also be attributed to better ways of reaching the same goal.

“When it comes to regulations, I think we can clean our air and clean our water even more if we give industry a little more time to develop the technology to do it,” Brady said. “In fact, on most regulations, most businesses will tell you that ‘we can get there at a lot less cost of jobs if you’ll give us time to develop the technology.’ So I actually think getting high standards for clean water and clean air, you can achieve without killing jobs if you’ll just partner with industry rather than fight it. I just think there’s a smarter way to get to the same goal.”

Regardless of his low score, Brady said he hopes to engage young people, who will inevitably inherit the problems of today.

“I’m just hopeful that we can engage more young people as Republicans, we can listen more, find out how we can help, in fact, I would love to have roundtables with students to give me a chance to listen to them.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, received a score of 15 percent, while Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, received a score of 8 percent.

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