Raleigh—A new online scorecard from Environment North Carolina gives voters a real-time look at how elected officials are voting to protect the state’s air, water, and natural areas. While the advocacy group has always issued a scorecard at the end of each year, the interactive tool launched today allows North Carolinians to find out who their legislators are and how they are voting on critical environmental bills on a continual basis.
“So many important issues are at stake this year, from dangerous gas drilling, to protections for Jordan Lake, to the future of solar and wind energy,” said Elizabeth Ouzts, Environment North Carolina state director. “Now more than ever, citizens need up-to-date information about where their elected officials stand.”
The online tool tracks votes in the N.C. General Assembly and the U.S. Congress based largely on Environment North Carolina’s 2013 legislative priorities, including stopping bills that would fast-track fracking and dismantle environmental commissions.
So far, the scorecard tracks just two votes taken, both related to SB 10, the contentious proposal to clear out major environmental rule-making commissions and replace them with special interests. The votes fell largely along party lines, but Ouzts noted that two Republicans, Sens. Harry Brown and Jim Davis, voted for Sen. Angela Bryant’s amendment to prevent the majority of commission members from representing polluters, developers, and other regulated entities.
“Kudos to Sen. Bryant and all those who stood up against this fundamental attack on the way our clean air and water rules are written,” said Ouzts. “Sens. Brown and Davis also deserve credit for bucking their party on a vote to protect the environment.”
The next vote likely to appear on the online scorecard: the proposal to end the state’s moratorium on fracking, which could be taken up by the full Senate later this week or early next.
“The ‘fast-track to frack’ bill is a dangerous give-away to big energy companies at the expense of our drinking water,” said Ouzts. “We urge Senators to vote it down.”