WAMC News, North Country News
Tue July 17, 2012
Environmental Scorecard Grades State Legislature
The New York League of Conservation Voters has released its Environmental Progress Report scoring New York legislators on policy progress. The group has given state leaders mixed grades for their actions, or lack thereof, on a number of natural resource, energy and climate issues.
The New York State Legislature gets a B grade from the League’s assessment of actions related to their policy agenda. Forty recommendations were put forth at the beginning of the session, with 4 items considered crucial, according to League of Conservation Voters President Marcia Bystryn.
Several of the League’s agenda items passed one chamber only to stall in the other, including legislation to pass a statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit, and expansion of solar energy. Several bills await Governor Cuomo’s signature, including the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act and strengthening controls on invasive species. Marcia Bystryn says there were small victories over the course of the session, leading to what she calls a soft B grade.
The Adirondack Council also gives the Legislature mixed ratings. Legislative Director Scott Lorey says their assessment gives legislators slightly above average scores, and is in line with the League’s grades.
The New York League of Conservation Voters gave the Legislature C grades for Climate Change and Air Quality and Clean Energy Economy performance, and B grades for Protection of Natural Resources and Public Health, and Transportation issues.