, 2000

Latest news from America's Progressive Community

Search | Sign Up | Privacy
  NewsCenter > NewsWire > For Immediate Release     


JUNE 2, 1999   9:45 AM
US Public Interest Research Group
Rick Trilsch or Liz Hitchcock 202-546-9707
US PIRG Grades Congress On Public Interest Issues
WASHINGTON - 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.

"Big-moneyed special 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 officials accountable."

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 scoring 0%.

"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 and grazing."

"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.

view the scorecard

U.S. PIRG is the national lobbying office for state PIRGs across the country. PIRGs are nonprofit, nonpartisan environmental and consumer watchdog groups.


Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

The press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community. If you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information, please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)

Making News?
E-mail us your news release!

Tell Us What You Think:

© Copyrighted 1997-2000 All Rights Reserved. Common Dreams.