Sunday, July 9, 2006

Looking Ahead to November

Even though there won't be a presidential or gubernatorial race on the ballot this November, 2006 stands as an especially important election year for environmentalists in Virginia. (Virginians can register to vote here.)

Sen. George Allen has one of the Senate's worst environmental records. So far in the 109th Congress, Allen has earned a 5% rating on the League of Conservation Voters' environmental scorecard -- astonishingly, his highest ever. He'd scored a 0% rating the two prior sessions. He's been one of the Senate's most vocal supporters of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, a terrible idea on several fronts, while opposing efforts to make cars more fuel-efficient. Allen also voted against including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations.

Unfortunately, Allen's opponent isn't exactly Ranger Rick himself. Jim Webb doesn't even list the environment on the issues section of his website (Allen doesn't either). However, considering Allen is one of the most anti-environment members of Congress, just about anyone would be an improvement. And without getting too much into politics, a Webb victory would bring the Senate one step closer to Democratic control, and a Democratic Senate would be more friendly to environmental interests.

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