The League of Conservation Voters’ latest scorecard shows most lawmakers from Oregon and Washington ended up with voting records that proved more pleasing to the environmental lobby than were the votes of their Idaho counterparts.
Since 1970, the league has picked out congressional votes on a handful of bills dealing with environmental issues. The more a politician’s votes aligned with the positions of the environmental lobby, the higher her scorecard rating will be.
The new report scored members of Congress based on how they voted on proposals before their respective chamber — looking at 14 measures in the Senate and 35 in the House. The legislation at issue dealt with issues like offshore drilling, tax breaks an other incentives for clean energy companies, Gulf Coast oil-spill restoration, natural resource management and the Keystone XL pipeline.
By and large, the Northwest’s coastal states were represented by lawmakers who voted the way environmental advocates had urged them to. Idaho’s Senate and House members? Not so much.
The League of Conservation Voters awarded Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley scores of 100 percent. Their Washington counterparts, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray were close behind with identical 93-percent scores.
Idaho Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo voted with the environmental lobby 11 percent of the time.
The Oregon and Washington senators are all Democrats; their Idaho counterparts both are Republicans.
The three states’ U.S. House delegations — with more Republicans in the mix — came out with lower average scores. Oregon’s average vote among its five U.S. Reps was 75 percent. Washington’s 10 House members averaged a score of 56 percent. Idaho’s two House members, Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson — both Republicans — aligned with the environmental lobby’s priorities 11 percent of the time on the votes used by the league to produce its scorecard.
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