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Seven GOP Lawmakers Make Environmental 'Dirty Dozen'

Monisha Bansal | Staff Writer | Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Seven GOP Lawmakers Make Environmental 'Dirty Dozen'

(CNSNews.com) - Seven Republican lawmakers joined one Democrat and the former House Republican leader Tuesday as members of an advocacy group's "Dirty Dozen" worst environmental offenders in Congress, who the group plans to target in this fall's elections.

Noting that the lawmakers voted for a "dirty energy bill" and for "drilling in the gorgeous and pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), named Republican Reps. Katherine Harris (Fla.), Richard Pombo (Calif.), Bob Ney (Ohio), and Heather Wilson (N.M.), along with Republican Sens. Conrad Burns (Mont.), Rick Santorum (Penn.) and Jim Talent (Mo.) to the list.

Those seven members of Congress join Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar and former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay, both of Texas, who made the list earlier this year. Only nine lawmakers are currently listed on the LCV's "Dirty Dozen."

LCV has labeled the new additions the "Oil Slick Seven," with Karpinski accusing all of the lawmakers of accepting large sums of money from the oil and gas industries, while gas prices in their states continued to rise.

Karpinski added that energy is "on the minds of voters every day, and they are mad about rising gas prices, they're mad about our dependence on foreign oil."

"It's unfortunate that at a time when we need more leadership and accountability on energy issues, many more members of Congress could have been on this list," said Karpinski.

Of the eight members on the list still serving in Congress, LCV gave Cuellar the highest rating at 33 percent and Burns the lowest at five percent, based on their voting records. As Cybercast News Service reported in February, 98 Republican members of Congress received ratings of "zero" from the group.

Karpinski said LCV plans to target the seven Republicans' districts with voter education, direct mailings and a door-to-door campaign to attack the incumbents and support their challengers.

But Myron Ebell, director for global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, questioned LCV's motives in producing the report.

"The League of Conservation Voters is officially non-partisan, but in fact their goal is to elect a Democratic majority to the House and the Senate, and to elect a Democratic president, because they think that will give them the best chance to enact their radical environmental agenda," Ebell told Cybercast News Service.

Calling LCV "part of the liberal machine," Ebell added, "Their 'Dirty Dozen' seems to me not to be picked by whose voting record they like the least, but for people who they think could be beaten by Democrats and therefore help the Democrats return to power."

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