State delegates get low conservation rating

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 13, 2002

BNI Newswire

The League of Conservation Voters – a group that considers itself the "political action arm of the environmental movement" – gave low marks to much of Alabama’s Congressional delegation this year.

Among those scoring a zero on their votes for environmental issues were Republican U.S. Sens. Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, as well as Republicans Sonny Callahan, Terry Everett and Bob Riley, also the Republican candidate for governor.

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In the House of Representatives, Republicans Robert Aderholt and Spencer Bachus scored 7 percent, while Democrat Bud Cramer scored 29 and outgoing U.S. Rep. Earl Hilliard scored 64 percent.

When asked at a gubernatorial debate last week about the zero rating, Riley called the LCV a "liberal" organization – a moniker political director Betsy Loyless took exception to.

"It’s easy to find ways to dismiss what are real issues and real problems," said Loyless, noting that the organization is headed by Ted Roosevelt IV, the great-great-grandson of the president.

"Ted Roosevelt spoke at the Republican National Convention," Loyless said. "We have bipartisan support."

At last week’s debate, Riley said he has received strong support in Calhoun County, where a debate rages over a billion-dollar incinerator project, and throughout the Third District, where concerns over the ongoing "water wars" negotiations continue.

The LCV based its ratings on issues including arctic and gulf drilling, farm conservation funding, pollution and public heath, and campaign finance reform.