- June 2 - The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) today released
its annual Public Interest Scorecard for U.S. Senators and Representatives on
major consumer, environmental and good government issues. PIRG is distributing
individualized scorecards to over one million households across the country as
part of its door-to-door Clean Air Now Campaign.
In addition to tracking
diverse public interest votes from the environment to banking policy to campaign
finance reform, the individual scorecards also list information about campaign
contributions, biographical data, past PIRG scores, and telephone numbers for
citizens to contact their elected officials.
interests are spending millions of dollars to stop efforts to clean up our air
by making new cars clean and efficient," said Gene Karpinski, Executive Director
of U.S. PIRG. "These scorecards are an important way to educate the public
about the voting records of their elected officials and help citizens hold those
Nationally, there were 125
members of the House or Senate scoring 80% and above, of whom 22 scored 100%.
There were 47 members of either chamber with scores at 10% or below, with 3 members
"We applaud the 125
members who scored 80% or more for being public interest heroes. They consistently
voted in the public interest," said Karpinski. "We are particularly
disappointed in the 47 members who scored below 10% and consistently voted to
put corporate profits above public health and safety."
"Although the attacks
were not as direct as those in the 104th Congress, the 105th
Congress engaged in an ongoing series of anti-environmental activities,"
continued Karpinski. "A key Senate committee and House subcommittee moved
to gut the Superfund toxic waste cleanup law. A bill to dismantle the Endangered
Species Act passed out of a Senate committee. Special interest allies succeeded
in sneaking through more than 20 anti-environmental riders, including a delay
in the phase-out of methyl bromide, a potent ozone layer depleter, a delay in
raising royalties oil companies pay for drilling on public lands that will cost
taxpayers $44 million, and a year delay in much-needed regulations for mining
"We urge members of
Congress to work to make all new cars clean cars, and to defend the Superfund,
the Endangered Species Act and the nationís other environmental and consumer laws
passed over the last three decades," concluded Karpinski.
U.S. PIRG is the national
lobbying office for state PIRGs across the country. PIRGs are nonprofit, nonpartisan
environmental and consumer watchdog groups.