Queens reps ranked high by environmental group – QNS.com

Queens reps ranked high by environmental group

By Kathianne Boniello

When it comes to environmental issues, one national environmental watchdog group has given high marks to Queens’ congressional delegation.

In its annual National Environmental Scorecard, the League of Conservation Voters gave three Queens Congress members its top rating for a consistently pro-environment voting record.

U.S. Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside), Nita Lowey (D-Rego Park) and Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) all received a 100 percent rating on the nonprofit LCV’s 2001 scorecard.

Ackerman has made the cleanup of Long Island Sound a legislative priority in recent years, a project Lowey also cited as one of her top concerns. Weiner has battled to reduce the effects of airplane noise on the borough’s residential communities.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) got a 93 percent score, while U.S. Reps. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) and Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans) got scores of 86 percent.

The elected officials were rated on how they voted on 14 pieces of legislation in the 2001 congressional session, including bills for a national energy policy, which the entire Queens delegation voted against, and fuel economy.

Maloney got a 93 percent rating for voting against a bill for energy efficiency in June 2001, while Crowley and Meeks each received 86 percent for voting against an August 2001 bill on fuel economy. Crowley and Meeks were also marked down for missing a vote, with Crowley absent for an August 2001 decision on Arctic drilling and Meeks not present for a June 2001 decision on Gulf drilling.

U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) were ranked at 88 percent each in the environmental voting scorecard. The League of Conservation Voters penalized the pair for voting in favor of a July 2001 bill on Gulf drilling.

Lowey said in a statement that environmental issues have been some of her top priorities since being elected in 1988.

“Protecting our environment starts right here in New York,” Lowey said. “I will continue to fight to restore Long Island Sound, keep our parks clean and beautiful, and ensure that we have clean air and water. We must preserve our environment for future generations.”

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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