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Shelley Vinyard,
Environment North Carolina

Two-thirds of the General Assembly Earn a Failing Grade on the Environment

Legislators take the state backwards on environmental initiatives
For Immediate Release

Raleigh, NC- Today, Environment North Carolina released its 2014 legislative scorecard, and the results don’t bode well for our state’s environment.

 “From fast-tracking fracking to failed action on coal ash, legislators showed their true colors this session, and it’s clear that their priority is not protecting North Carolina’s air, water or open spaces,” said Dave Rogers, Field Director with Environment North Carolina.

 Seventy-seven members of the House and thirty-three members of the Senate earned less than 70% on the scorecard, and thirty-one members earned a flat out zero.

 The environment was a contentious issue for the legislature this session, usually drawing along party lines. Most notably, Senate Bill 786 was pushed through the General Assembly by pro-fracking legislators.

 “It’s clear that the legislature is out of touch with what the people of North Carolina want for the future of our state,” said Liz Kazal, field associate with Environment North Carolina. “We knocked on thousands of doors this summer and overwhelmingly North Carolinians want to keep fracking out of our state.”

Even issues like cleaning up the state’s coal ash ponds took pushing and prodding from environmental champions. When the session started, one of the priorities as stated by the leadership was to come up with a plan for coal ash, but it took until the final days of the session, and the bill that eventually passed only dealt with four of the fourteen coal ash sites in North Carolina.

There were also some shining performances this session from environmental champions who spoke out to protect our state’s environment. Thirty-two members of the General Assembly earned a grade of 90 or above for standing up for our environment, and nineteen earned a perfect score.

“We’re proud of our legislators that took a stand to protect our rivers, lakes and the places that make North Carolina so beautiful,” said Rogers, “we urge them to continue to be champions for our environment.”

 The full list of legislators, votes, and their scores can be found here.

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Environment North Carolina is a statewide, citizen-based, environmental advocacy organization dedicated to protecting North Carolina’s clean air, clean water, and open spaces.