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Environment Texas Releases 2011 Legislative Scorecard

Sen. Birdwell and Reps Bonnen, Callegari and Miller Named “Natural Disasters”
For Immediate Release

AUSTIN—Twenty-six representatives and two senators voted to protect the environment 100% of the time in the 82nd Legislature, according to Environment Texas’ biennial legislative scorecard. Meanwhile, three Representatives and one Senator failed to cast a single pro-environment vote. The scorecard tracks votes on a range of votes affecting the state’s air, water, natural areas, and quality of life.

“We applaud 28 members of both the House and Senate for being champions of the environment. These members received a 100 percent scores for consistently voting to protect the environment,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “These scorecards are an important tool to educate the public about the voting records of their elected officials and to honor public officials like this that have a record of putting the environment first.”

Environment Texas tracked seventeen votes in the House and Senate, including measures to require disclosure of chemicals involved in the hydraulic fracturing process of natural drilling, to promote plug-in vehicles, and to weaken the right of citizens to protect their property from pollution.

Overall the average score of House members was 48% and Senators 60%. Representatives Dennis Bonnen (R- Angleton), William Callegari (R- Katy) and Sid Miller (R- Stephenville) and Senator Brian Birdwell (R- Granbury) voted against the environment every vote on Environment Texas’ scorecard, earning the legislators the appellation “Natural Disasters”. The House Democrat with the lowest score is Rep. Tracy King (D- Batesville) with 40%, while Rep. Pena had the best Republican voting record, with a score of 63%.

Texas Representatives voting to protect the environment 100% of the time were: Reps. Alma Allen (D-Houston), Rafael Anchia (D–Dallas), Roberto Alonzo (D-Dallas), Carol Alvarado (D-Houston), Lon Burnam (D–Fort Worth), Joaquin Castro (D–San Antonio), Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas), Harold V. Dutton Jr. (D–Houston), Joe Farias (D-San Antonio), Jessica Farrar (D-Houston), Helen Giddings (D-Dallas), Veronica Gonzales (D-McAllen), Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), Barbara Mallory Caraway (D-Dallas), Marisa Marquez (D-El Paso), Armando Martinez (D–Weslaco), Trey Martinez-Fisher (D-San Antonio), Borris Miles (D-Houston), Elliot Naishtat (D-Austin), Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City), Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), Sylvester Turner (D-Houston), Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth), Hubert Vo (D-Houston) and Armando Walle (D-Houston). 

Senators Kirk Watson (D-Austin) and Mario Gallegos (D-Houston) voted for major environmental issues 100% of the time.

Environment Texas’ scorecards are distributed door to door by the organization’s outreach staff and are available online at www.environmenttexas.org/legislature/legislative-scorecard. Today, the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance released its own scorecard and the Texas League of Conservation Voters is expected to release its scorecard in the coming weeks.