Philadelphia-- The state’s leading citizen-based environmental group presented Congressmen Brendan Boyle and Dwight Evans awards for their environmental leadership in Congress in 2017. The award is being given in conjunction with the release of PennEnvironment’s annual federal scorecard evaluating how the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation voted on legislation supporting clean air, clean water and other critical environmental protections.
“Unfortunately, in 2017 Congress repeatedly tried to undermine protections for the air we breathe and the water we drink,” said Adam Garber, PennEnvironment’s Deputy Director. “Each time, Congressman Boyle and Evans stood with their constituents and millions of other Pennsylvanians to defend our parks, cut smog pollution, and tackle climate change.”
The annual scorecard examined more than a dozen votes in the House of Representatives and Senate that would open up the Artic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, undermine Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act protections, and undermine climate protections. Congressman Boyle, Brady, Evans, Doyle, and Cartwright and Senator Casey all received over 90% for constantly protecting Pennsylvania’s environment.
“It is an honor to be recognized by PennEnvironment as an environmental champion in Congress, and a privilege to fight alongside this important grassroots organization for the health and safety of the air we breathe and water we drink. I won’t stop fighting; and it means so much to know PennEnvironment won’t either,” said Congressman Boyle on receiving recognition for his leadership.
“I firmly believe Philadelphia and Montgomery County residents and all Americans deserve access to safe drinking water, clean air, and the opportunity to utilize and enjoy our nation’s precious public lands. I look forward to continuing to work with PennEnvironment in our shared goal to build a cleaner, greener tomorrow for future generations,” Congressman Evans said.
While Congressman Boyle and Evans lead the charge for environmental protection, the Delegation averaged a failing grade because the majority voted to open America’s wilderness areas to oil drilling, gut protections from smog and water pollution, and undermine climate protections.
Still PennEnvironment pointed out there were glimmers of hope as bipartisan support for protecting the environment. Congressman Costello, Fitzpatrick and Meehan joined with their Democratic colleagues on a handful of votes including preserving limits on methane pollution from oil and gas drilling, evaluating the impacts of climate change on health and national security, and preserving public transit funding. Unfortunately, each of them received a failing grade for voting to undermine Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act protections, opening the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling and slashing funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“The country is polarized these days on all sorts of issues, including the need to protect our environment. But, it didn’t used to be this way and doesn’t reflect the will of Pennsylvanians who regularly call for more efforts to safeguard their favorite fishing streams, cut asthma-inducing smog, and promoting clean energy,” continued Garber
Citizens can learn more about how the Pennsylvania Delegation voted at www.PennEnvironment.org/2017scorecard.