The entire Colorado Republican congressional delegation earned failing grades in the just released League of Conservation Voters 2006 National Environmental Scorecard. Ironically, two lawmakers who sit on the House Resources Committee – which is charged with oversight on energy and environmental issues – have some of the worst records in Congress.
The bottom line significance of a healthy and vibrant eco-system is crucial not only to the quality of life of state residents but the ability to beckon tourism dollars. A study commissioned by the Colorado Tourism Board reported that 25.9 million visitors spent $8.2 billion in overnight travel throughout the state last year.
Evidentally, the direct link of sound environmental policies to attracting badly-needed state revenue was lost on certain members of Colorado’s delegation to the U.S. House and Senate.
Each member of Congress was scored on a scale of 0 to 100 based on the number of pro-environment votes cast out of the total number included for 2006. Roll call absences were counted as negative votes. The 2006 Scorecard considered votes on offshore drilling, drilling royalties, public health and environmental funding.
According to the League, the national average was 48 percent for House members and 45 percent for Senators. None of the GOP members from Colorado achieved close to the average score. All of the Democratic members far exceeded it with two earning perfect scores.
Most curious of all is the fact that Rep. Marilyn Musgrave managed to miss five out 12 votes tracked by the League. She sits on the House Committee on Resources where most of the bills would have originated. Fellow committee member Rep. Tom Tancredo shared the dubious distinction of an eight percent ranking with his colleague from the eastern plains.
Even the highly controversial chairman of the committee Congressman Richard Pombo (R-CA) who has advocated the sale of public parks to developers and accepted $500,000 from oil and gas interests bested Musgrave and Tancredo with a 17 percent score.