Perzel Listed as One of the 12 Dirtiest State Lawmakers in the Nation
League of Conservation Voters Adds Representative John Perzel to the Inaugural State-Level Dirty Dozen
Philadelphia – Today, the national League of Conservation Voters (LCV), which works to turn environmental values into national priorities, announced the inaugural state-level Dirty Dozen program. Pennsylvania State Representative John Perzel is one of 12 candidates for state office from around the country named to the list for failing to accurately represent his district’s strong environmental values. LCV’s local ally, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania (CVPA), will work to defeat Perzel during the remaining months of the election cycle.
“Representative Perzel continues to put the interests of corporate polluters above the health and safety Pennsylvania’s citizens,” said CVPA Executive Director Josh McNeil. “His environmental values are so at odds to those of the people of the 172nd District that he has well earned his place on the Dirty Dozen.”
When tough votes come before the legislature, Representative Perzel routinely votes against clean energy and reasonable environmental protection. On the 2007-2008 Sierra Club/Clean Water Action Environmental Scorecard, he earned a pathetic 20%. On the 2007-2008 PennEnvironment Scorecard, he earned a 29%, despite broad public support for environmental stewardship in his district.
On that same PennEnvironment scorecard, Senators Shirley Kitchen, Michael Stack and Tina Tartaglione, whose districts overlap the 172nd, scored 86%, 71% and 71%. Likewise, overlapping US Representatives Robert Brady and Allyson Schwartz both scored 100% on the 2009 League of Conservation Voters Scorecard. Perzel’s underperformance seems unlikely to change.
Oil and gas companies have donated $13,200 to Perzel since 2001 and he has been a worthwhile investment. Perzel’s district does not sit above the Marcellus Shale natural gas deposit and has little to gain from Marcellus drilling. In fact, hasty and haphazard drilling may seriously pollute the Delaware River, from which Philadelphia gets its drinking water. Nevertheless, on May 10, 2010, Perzel voted to reduce the term of a moratorium on drilling in state lands from three years to one (Representative Reed’s amendment to HB2235). That vote wasn’t in the interests of his constituents, but did serve the purposes of the oil and gas companies eager to get access to more state land.
The people of District 172 deserve representation that puts their health and well-being ahead of the financial interests of out-of-state drilling companies. That’s why John Perzel has been named to the state-level Dirty Dozen.
The full list of state-level Dirty Dozen candidates can be found at http://www.lcv.org/statedirtydozen.
“From Congress to the state house there has never been a more urgent time to defeat politicians who stand with Big Oil and block progress on clean energy reform,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “With the U.S. Senate’s recent failure to act on comprehensive energy and climate legislation, we need strong environmental leaders at the state level to move the ball forward on new energy policies that will put America on the path to a clean energy future.”
LCV’s trademark Dirty Dozen program targets candidates for Congress – regardless of party affiliation – who consistently vote against clean energy and conservation and are running in races in which LCV has a serious chance to affect the outcome. Since 1996, more than 60 percent of the federal candidates named to Dirty Dozen have been defeated. Today’s announcement marks the first time LCV has named a state-level Dirty Dozen consisting of gubernatorial and state legislative candidates.
For a list of federal candidates named to the 2010 Dirty Dozen, visit http://www.lcv.org/dirtydozen.
For more information on Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, visit http://www.conservationpa.org.