New West Missoula: Who’s Green? Baucus, Tester Get Top Eco Scores

Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester were given top marks and named “environmental champions” for their voting records on legislation involving major environmental issues, according to an annual Congressional Scorecard released today by Environment Montana.

Environment Montana is part of a federation of nonprofit environmental advocacy groups in 27 states and the District of Columbia, which together form an organization called Environment America (EA).

Baucus and Tester, both Democrats, won EA’s highest possible score–100 percent–for voting green on all major environmental bills tracked by the group from May 2007 through September 2009.

“We hope this is a good model for what continues to happen in the future,” said Environment Montana’s Zoee Turill.

The Montana senators supported successful legislation such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which allocates nearly $80 billion in clean energy investments. They also voted for eco bills that failed, such as one that would cap global warming pollution, and another that would protect the coasts from offshore drilling.

Overall, the report deems 40 Senators and 144 Representatives to be “champions” who voted pro-environment for every bill that was monitored.

Twenty six Senators and 17 Representatives–who voted anti-environment 100 percent of the time–were named “natural disasters.”

U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) was neither champ nor disaster, and got a 27 percent rating for voting pro-environment about one quarter of the time, EA states.

While congratulating lawmakers for making progress, the 2009 Environment America Scorecard concludes that “the clear story is still one of unfinished business.”

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