Our skies are smoggy, our waterways are polluted, and our wallets are empty. Can we get past fossil fuels and move in a more sustainable direction? Some new candidates think we can. With the help of the League of Conservation Voters, which puts candidates through rigorous interviews before making an endorsement, we bring you five of the most environmentally minded new candidates running for federal office in the South.
Frank Kratovil | MARYLAND |
Hopeful Seat: U.S. House, First Congressional District
Kratovil has promised to take meaningful action to rescue the increasingly endangered Chesapeake Bay. He is also running as a proponent for alternative energy, including biodiesel. “Leadership on alternative energy will create more economic opportunities for Maryland’s farmers and small businesses,” he says.
Kay Hagan | NORTH CAROLINA
| Hopeful Seat: U.S. Senate
Taking on Big Oil buddy Elizabeth Dole, Hagan is a state senator with a proven track record for green initiatives. She was given an average score of 85 percent from the Conservation Council of North Carolina from 2003 to 2007. She is pushing for North Carolina utilities to produce 12.5 percent of their electricity through renewable energy by 2021.
Larry Kissell | NORTH CAROLINA
| Hopeful Seat: 8th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives
A former textiles worker turned high school social studies teacher, Kissell is an avid cyclist who drives a hybrid. He supports legislation to reduce global warming pollution 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050, and he wants to make sure that 20 percent of the nation’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.
Donna Edwards | MARYLAND
| Hopeful Seat: U.S. House, Fourth Congressional District
The former community organizer has worked hard to improve public transportation and sustainable community growth in Maryland. Having served on the Board of the Maryland Conservation Voters, she also worked to protect the Potomac River shoreline.
Tom Perriello | VIRGINIA
| Hopeful Seat: U.S. House, Fifth Congressional District
This young candidate is the antithesis of a Washington insider. Perriello has roots in the nonprofit sector where he worked on strategies for sustainable peace in West Africa and the Middle East. Perriello has called for moving away from fossil fuels through alternative energy sources including second-generation bio-fuels.
These five eco-villains have the worst environmental records in Congress.
LINDSEY GRAHAM | South Carolina, U.S. Senator
With an abysmal environmental voting record that includes advocating for oil subsidies and stonewalling clean energy, Graham revealed his ecological ignorance when he claimed on ABC News that John McCain has done more for the environment than Al Gore.
JACK KINGSTON | Georgia, 1st Congressional District
The eight-term Georgia congressman received a whopping 0 percent score from the League of Conservation Voters in 2007 for voting down every environmental initiative to come across his desk, including bills for renewable energy, clean air, and reducing water pollution. He also brokered a backdoor deal that removed wilderness designation for the revered Cumberland Island National Seashore.
SUE MYRICK | North Carolina, 9th Congressional District
On the heels of high gas prices, Myrick introduced the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act of 2008, which would give states authority to allow oil drilling within 100 miles of their coast.
VIRGIL GOODE | Virginia, 5th Congressional District
The epitome of a politician in the hands of special interests, Goode has pandered to oil lobbyists as an outspoken proponent for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He’s also a friend to the tobacco industry, famously quoted as saying he wouldn’t want to deny his dying mother the pleasure of one last cigarette on her deathbed.
MITCH McCONNELL | Kentucky, U.S. Senator
Despite once calling himself the “Godfather of Green,” 25,000 voters put McConnell on the League of Conservation Voters’ 2008 Dirty Dozen list. McConnell has one of the worst anti-environmental voting records in the history of the Senate. In 24 years, McConnell has made only two pro-conservation votes, and the so-called Godfather recently helped kill a bill to extend tax credits for renewable energy, as well as the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act.
Visit the League of Conservation Voters’web site at lcv.org for a complete environmental scorecard of every representative in congress, along with endorsements of candidates with the greenest credentials.