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Mass. Delegates Receive High Marks On Environmental Scorecard

This article is more than 10 years old.

Praising Massachusetts' congressional delegates for their work on conservation issues, a new study gives nine of the state's 12 lawmakers perfect scores for their "pro-environment" voting records.

In its annual National Environmental Scorecard (PDF), the non-profit League of Conservation Voters tallied the votes of all members of Congress across a number of environmental issues appearing before the legislature in 2009.

For Massachusetts, Sen. John Kerry and former interim Sen. Paul Kirk both received perfect scores, while seven of the state's 10 representatives did as well. Reps. Michael Capuano, Stephen Lynch and Richard Neal all received scores of 93 percent each.

Congressman Ed Markey, who co-sponsored the Markey-Waxman American Clean Energy and Security Act — the formal name for the cap-and-trade bill — in the House of Representatives, says he is not surprised by the state's green voting record.

"Massachusetts has a long history of environmental appreciation and protection that spans the state and crosses party lines," Markey said to WBUR.

Markey's landmark bill (PDF) passed narrowly in the House, 219-212, on June 26. A companion bill was not voted on in the Senate in 2009, though Sen. Kerry co-wrote an Oct. 10 op-ed with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in The New York Times advocating for the passage of bipartisan climate change legislation.

Despite the non-profit's favorable scoring of the state's delegates, the report also indicated that the election of Republican Sen. Scott Brown could hurt the rating going forward — even though officials from the League of Conservation Voters say Brown received a 70 percent "pro-environment" voting record in the Massachusetts Senate.

Brown has stated publicly that he opposes the national cap-and-trade bill brought by fellow Bay Stater Markey.

Still, Markey says Brown's election does not kill eco-friendly bills moving ahead.

"Passage of clean energy legislation was never going to be dependent on the Democrats having 60 votes," Markey said. "It was always going to be bipartisan."

This program aired on February 23, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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