Property:League of Conservation Voters 2008 House Scorecard description

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C

Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act of 2008 +As energy costs spiraled upward and American consumers suffered at the pump, anti-environment forces in Congress monopolized legislative proceedings to push a pro-drilling agenda. In September, House Democrats introduced a proposal that combined conservation measures, renewable energy investment, and increased drilling into a single comprehensive energy package. The Comprehensive American Energy Security & Consumer Protection Act of 2008 included a renewable electricity standard mandating that 15% of American electricity come from clean energy sources by 2020. H.R. 6899 would extend tax credits to the renewable energy industry, institute energy efficiency standards for buildings, and repeal billions of dollars in tax subsidies to oil companies. During consideration of H.R. 6899, Representative John Peterson (R-PA) offered a motion to strike the renewable electricity standard and open up additional federal lands and waters to drilling. The motion would also have provided federal subsidies for the development of polluting fossil fuels such as oil shale. On September 16, the House defeated the motion by a 191-226 vote (House roll call vote 598). NO is the pro-environment vote.
Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 +S. 2739, the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, packaged together 62 individual bills concerning lands and activities in over 30 states and the District of Columbia. The omnibus bill included a measure to designate the 106,000 acre Wild Sky Wilderness in Washington State to the National Wilderness Preservation System, added the Eightmile River in Connecticut to the Wild and Scenic River System, and authorized new protections for historic sites, national parks and precious water resources.

E

Energy and Tax Extenders Act of 2008 +H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008, as reported by the Ways and Means Committee, extended the tax credits for wind and other renewable energies by one year, while also renewing several important research and development tax credits, and renewing the commercial and residential energy efficiency tax credits. This package was supported by over two hundred business, environmental, and utility groups. The tax credits would be paid for by delaying new interest allocation rules for multinational companies and changing the rules for taxing deferred compensation. Opponents maintained that loopholes closed by the bill amounted to tax increases. Representative McCrery (R-LA) sought to send the bill back to Committee with instructions that it be reported back without the offsets. Because conservative House Democrats would have resisted such a bill, this move was tantamount to killing the bill. The motion to recommit was rejected 201-220 (House roll call vote 343) on May 21. NO is the pro-environment vote.

F

FY 2009 U.S. federal budget +The Congressional budget process begins once the President’s annual budget is submitted in February. At that time, Congress begins to develop its own budget plan that reflects its spending priorities. The federal budget resolution sets funding levels for the next fiscal year and sets forth budget totals for the next five years. Because the concurrent budget resolution determines the spending authority of House appropriation committees that then subdivide the amount among its subcommittees, the federal budget is a powerful tool for establishing national policy priorities. Programs that protect our air, water, climate, wildlife, parks, forest, refuges and other public lands fall under the Interior Environment Appropriation Committee. S. Con Res 70 marks the second year of reversing cuts to many important environmental and conservation programs that occurred for nearly a decade. The budget agreement provides $38.6 billion in FY 2009 discretionary spending for environment and natural resources programs. This funding level is $1.9 billion above the FY 2008 enacted level, and $3.9 billion over the President’s FY 2009 request. The resolution also provides $7.7 billion for energy programs in FY 2009, which is $2.8 billion above the President’s proposal. This is a major improvement over the years of declining funding for important public lands and natural resource management.
Farm Bill Extension Act of 2007 +Because farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners control almost three quarters of the U.S. landscape, they have a significant impact on our air and water quality and wildlife habitat. The Department of Agriculture’s voluntary conservation programs provide critical assistance to landowners who are willing to share in the cost of protecting our environment, but these programs have been historically under funded relative to the need. More than half of those who want to enlist in voluntary conservation programs are turned away because of insufficient program funds. The farm bill’s reauthorization every five years gives Congress a chance to increase funding for these programs and to improve U.S. farm policies in ways that enhance our environment. During consideration of the 2008 farm bill conference report, Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) offered a motion to instruct House conferees to maintain the House-passed funding levels for three conservation programs: the Grassland Reserve Program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program. The House-passed farm bill provided $4.4 billion more for these three programs over 10 years than did the version of the bill passed by the Senate. The motion also instructed conferees to adopt a Senate-passed provision that barred certain federal payments for crops planted on land with no previous cropping history in order to reduce incentives to convert native prairie to crop production.

H

HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2007 +Buildings consume about 40 percent of the total energy used in the United States and are responsible for about 40 percent of all U.S. carbon dioxide pollution. The initial building design and construction provides the best and most cost-effective opportunity to deploy energy-efficient features that will last for the lifetime of the building. The HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2007, H.R. 2534, required federally funded housing developments and community revitalizations for the low income and elderly to meet residential and commercial buildings criteria for efficiency. Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) offered an amendment that would have weakened these provisions by making them voluntary, deleted the definition of specific green criteria and goals, and allowed the Administration to choose any private industry-backed standard for voluntary compliance regardless of any positive public health or environmental benefit. On January 17, the House defeated the amendment by a vote of 169-240 (House roll call vote 16). NO is the pro-environment vote.

N

National Landscape Conservation System Act of 2007 +Former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt created the National Landscape Conservation System in June 2000 to recognize the “crown jewels” of public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The 26 million-acre system comprises over 800 individual units; including the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana, and the Headwaters Forest Reserve in northern California.H.R. 2016, the National Landscape Conservation System Act, provides permanent statutory recognition for a system that was created administratively eight years ago to “conserve, protect, and restore these nationally significant landscapes that have outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values for the benefit of current and future generations.” During consideration of H.R. 2016, Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM) introduced an amendment that seeks to enshrine current grazing operations on units within the National Landscape Conservation System regardless of the damage being caused to the land. On April 9, the House approved the amendment by a 214-207 vote (House roll call vote 172). NO is the pro-environment vote., On the same day, the House voted 278-140 to pass H.R. 2016 by a 278-140 vote (House roll call vote 174). YES in the pro-environment vote
No Child Left Inside Act of 2008 +Environmental education serves as the cornerstone for conservation by sparking young people’s interest in and respect for the natural world. Hands-on environmental education has a measurable positive impact on student achievement in science, reading, math, and social studies, and stimulates interest in science and math as future career pathways. Today’s children spend half as much time outside as they did just 20 years ago and, on average, spend six and a half hours every day plugged into electronic media. Hands-on environmental education is a solution to this growing trend of “nature deficit disorder.” The No Child Left Inside Act of 2008, H.R. 3036, sponsored by Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD), created a new federal environmental grant program for states to develop environmental literacy programs and support teacher training in environmental education. The bill also extended the authorization of the National Environmental Education Act.

R

Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008 +"The single most effective measure to increase the use of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency is to extend and expand the present set of clean energy tax credits that are due to expire at the end of 2008. Caught in a legislative ping-pong between the House and the Senate, some version of the tax extension package was considered by the House and Senate at least 12 times during the 110th Congress. In one of the earlier efforts to extend the renewable-energy and energy-efficiency tax credits, the House passed H.R. 5351, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008, which would have extended the tax credit for wind and other renewables by three years and reinstated expired credits for commercial and resident buildings. In addition, new tax credits were made available for plug-in hybrids and other transportation alternatives. To offset the costs, the bill changed the way oil and gas companies calculate foreign oil and gas income and bumped up the estimated tax rate for certain large corporations."

S

Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act of 2008 +"Public transportation provides an energy-efficient travel choice that helps reduce the number of cars on the road. Public transportation use can reduce air pollution linked to significant public health impacts such as respiratory disease and cancer, as well as reduce global warming pollution. During a rapid increase in gasoline prices in the spring and summer, public transportation ridership hit record highs nationwide. At the same time, high diesel and electricity prices forced many transit agencies to consider cutting services or increasing fares. As a result, the House of Representatives took up H.R. 6052, the Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act of 2008. H.R. 6052 would help meet the growing demand for affordable, convenient public transportation in cities across America by providing grants to local transit agencies to expand and improve service. This legislation would also prevent service cuts or fare increases and offer fringe transit benefits to federal employees nationwide."

U

U.S. House of Representatives record vote 16, 110th Congress, Session 2 +Buildings consume about 40 percent of the total energy used in the United States and are responsible for about 40 percent of all U.S. carbon dioxide pollution. The initial building design and construction provides the best and most cost-effective opportunity to deploy energy-efficient features that will last for the lifetime of the building. The HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2007, H.R. 2534, required federally funded housing developments and community revitalizations for the low income and elderly to meet residential and commercial buildings criteria for efficiency. Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) offered an amendment that would have weakened these provisions by making them voluntary, deleted the definition of specific green criteria and goals, and allowed the Administration to choose any private industry-backed standard for voluntary compliance regardless of any positive public health or environmental benefit. On January 17, the House defeated the amendment by a vote of 169-240 (House roll call vote 16). NO is the pro-environment vote.
U.S. House of Representatives record vote 172, 110th Congress, Session 2 +Former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt created the National Landscape Conservation System in June 2000 to recognize the “crown jewels” of public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The 26 million-acre system comprises over 800 individual units; including the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana, and the Headwaters Forest Reserve in northern California.H.R. 2016, the National Landscape Conservation System Act, provides permanent statutory recognition for a system that was created administratively eight years ago to “conserve, protect, and restore these nationally significant landscapes that have outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values for the benefit of current and future generations.” During consideration of H.R. 2016, Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM) introduced an amendment that seeks to enshrine current grazing operations on units within the National Landscape Conservation System regardless of the damage being caused to the land. On April 9, the House approved the amendment by a 214-207 vote (House roll call vote 172). NO is the pro-environment vote.
U.S. House of Representatives record vote 174, 110th Congress, Session 2 +On the same day, the House voted 278-140 to pass H.R. 2016 by a 278-140 vote (House roll call vote 174). YES in the pro-environment vote
U.S. House of Representatives record vote 226, 110th Congress, Session 2 +S. 2739, the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, packaged together 62 individual bills concerning lands and activities in over 30 states and the District of Columbia. The omnibus bill included a measure to designate the 106,000 acre Wild Sky Wilderness in Washington State to the National Wilderness Preservation System, added the Eightmile River in Connecticut to the Wild and Scenic River System, and authorized new protections for historic sites, national parks and precious water resources.
U.S. House of Representatives record vote 258, 110th Congress, Session 1 +Because farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners control almost three quarters of the U.S. landscape, they have a significant impact on our air and water quality and wildlife habitat. The Department of Agriculture’s voluntary conservation programs provide critical assistance to landowners who are willing to share in the cost of protecting our environment, but these programs have been historically under funded relative to the need. More than half of those who want to enlist in voluntary conservation programs are turned away because of insufficient program funds. The farm bill’s reauthorization every five years gives Congress a chance to increase funding for these programs and to improve U.S. farm policies in ways that enhance our environment. During consideration of the 2008 farm bill conference report, Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) offered a motion to instruct House conferees to maintain the House-passed funding levels for three conservation programs: the Grassland Reserve Program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program. The House-passed farm bill provided $4.4 billion more for these three programs over 10 years than did the version of the bill passed by the Senate. The motion also instructed conferees to adopt a Senate-passed provision that barred certain federal payments for crops planted on land with no previous cropping history in order to reduce incentives to convert native prairie to crop production.
U.S. House of Representatives record vote 343, 110th Congress, Session 2 +H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008, as reported by the Ways and Means Committee, extended the tax credits for wind and other renewable energies by one year, while also renewing several important research and development tax credits, and renewing the commercial and residential energy efficiency tax credits. This package was supported by over two hundred business, environmental, and utility groups. The tax credits would be paid for by delaying new interest allocation rules for multinational companies and changing the rules for taxing deferred compensation. Opponents maintained that loopholes closed by the bill amounted to tax increases. Representative McCrery (R-LA) sought to send the bill back to Committee with instructions that it be reported back without the offsets. Because conservative House Democrats would have resisted such a bill, this move was tantamount to killing the bill. The motion to recommit was rejected 201-220 (House roll call vote 343) on May 21. NO is the pro-environment vote.
U.S. House of Representatives record vote 382, 110th Congress, Session 2 +The Congressional budget process begins once the President’s annual budget is submitted in February. At that time, Congress begins to develop its own budget plan that reflects its spending priorities. The federal budget resolution sets funding levels for the next fiscal year and sets forth budget totals for the next five years. Because the concurrent budget resolution determines the spending authority of House appropriation committees that then subdivide the amount among its subcommittees, the federal budget is a powerful tool for establishing national policy priorities. Programs that protect our air, water, climate, wildlife, parks, forest, refuges and other public lands fall under the Interior Environment Appropriation Committee. S. Con Res 70 marks the second year of reversing cuts to many important environmental and conservation programs that occurred for nearly a decade. The budget agreement provides $38.6 billion in FY 2009 discretionary spending for environment and natural resources programs. This funding level is $1.9 billion above the FY 2008 enacted level, and $3.9 billion over the President’s FY 2009 request. The resolution also provides $7.7 billion for energy programs in FY 2009, which is $2.8 billion above the President’s proposal. This is a major improvement over the years of declining funding for important public lands and natural resource management.
U.S. House of Representatives record vote 467, 110th Congress, Session 2 +"Public transportation provides an energy-efficient travel choice that helps reduce the number of cars on the road. Public transportation use can reduce air pollution linked to significant public health impacts such as respiratory disease and cancer, as well as reduce global warming pollution. During a rapid increase in gasoline prices in the spring and summer, public transportation ridership hit record highs nationwide. At the same time, high diesel and electricity prices forced many transit agencies to consider cutting services or increasing fares. As a result, the House of Representatives took up H.R. 6052, the Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act of 2008. H.R. 6052 would help meet the growing demand for affordable, convenient public transportation in cities across America by providing grants to local transit agencies to expand and improve service. This legislation would also prevent service cuts or fare increases and offer fringe transit benefits to federal employees nationwide."
U.S. House of Representatives record vote 598, 110th Congress, Session 2 +As energy costs spiraled upward and American consumers suffered at the pump, anti-environment forces in Congress monopolized legislative proceedings to push a pro-drilling agenda. In September, House Democrats introduced a proposal that combined conservation measures, renewable energy investment, and increased drilling into a single comprehensive energy package. The Comprehensive American Energy Security & Consumer Protection Act of 2008 included a renewable electricity standard mandating that 15% of American electricity come from clean energy sources by 2020. H.R. 6899 would extend tax credits to the renewable energy industry, institute energy efficiency standards for buildings, and repeal billions of dollars in tax subsidies to oil companies. During consideration of H.R. 6899, Representative John Peterson (R-PA) offered a motion to strike the renewable electricity standard and open up additional federal lands and waters to drilling. The motion would also have provided federal subsidies for the development of polluting fossil fuels such as oil shale. On September 16, the House defeated the motion by a 191-226 vote (House roll call vote 598). NO is the pro-environment vote.
U.S. House of Representatives record vote 614, 110th Congress, Session 2 +Environmental education serves as the cornerstone for conservation by sparking young people’s interest in and respect for the natural world. Hands-on environmental education has a measurable positive impact on student achievement in science, reading, math, and social studies, and stimulates interest in science and math as future career pathways. Today’s children spend half as much time outside as they did just 20 years ago and, on average, spend six and a half hours every day plugged into electronic media. Hands-on environmental education is a solution to this growing trend of “nature deficit disorder.” The No Child Left Inside Act of 2008, H.R. 3036, sponsored by Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD), created a new federal environmental grant program for states to develop environmental literacy programs and support teacher training in environmental education. The bill also extended the authorization of the National Environmental Education Act.
U.S. House of Representatives record vote 84, 110th Congress, Session 2 +"The single most effective measure to increase the use of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency is to extend and expand the present set of clean energy tax credits that are due to expire at the end of 2008. Caught in a legislative ping-pong between the House and the Senate, some version of the tax extension package was considered by the House and Senate at least 12 times during the 110th Congress. In one of the earlier efforts to extend the renewable-energy and energy-efficiency tax credits, the House passed H.R. 5351, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008, which would have extended the tax credit for wind and other renewables by three years and reinstated expired credits for commercial and resident buildings. In addition, new tax credits were made available for plug-in hybrids and other transportation alternatives. To offset the costs, the bill changed the way oil and gas companies calculate foreign oil and gas income and bumped up the estimated tax rate for certain large corporations."
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