Message to NYS Senate: Four Days Remain to Green Your Grades in 2012 Environmental Report Card

State Senators Poised to Receive Failing Grades in Annual Green Scorecard, Lawmakers Must Pass "Super Bills" to Raise Scores before Session's End

ALBANY, NY (06/19/2012)(readMedia)-- New York State Senators have just four days to improve their scores in EPL/Environmental Advocates' annual green report card. Based on a preliminary review of lawmakers' scores, ever member of the upper house is primed to receive a failing grade this year in the group's environmental Voters' Guide. EPL/Environmental Advocates tracks state legislators' votes on bills that would affect New York's air, land, water, wildlife, and public health to produce the annual scorecard. The State Senate's preliminary scores for the 2012 Legislative Session are based on actions take on only five significant environmental bills. The complete green report card, including Assembly scores, will be released this fall.

"New York State Senators still have time to radically improve their scores this year," said David Gahl, EPL/Environmental Advocates. "Negotiations are underway on bills that would help protect New York's air, land, and water, and the State Senate shouldn't leave town without passing these bills."

The upper house's overall average score stands at a record low 23. The highest score is 59; the lowest is 9. Members of the Democratic Party Conference scored an average of 36. Majority Party Republicans scored an average of 14.

Improving scores will largely depend on support and floor action for legislation that includes the environmental community's Super Bills, such as a bill that would provide much-needed resources to New York's Environmental Protection Fund. Scores would also be improved by taking action on the Governor's "Clean Energy and Economic Revitalization Act of 2012," which has not been introduced but has been the subject of intense discussion over the last few days.

Scores are calculated by legislators' voting records on bills that have received an evaluation memo from Environmental Advocates of New York. Scores are weighted by the number of "trees" (good for the environment) or "smokestacks" (bad for the environment) awarded to each bill. Scores are heavily influenced by support for or opposition to the Super Bills, which represent the environmental community's priorities. The 2012 Super Bills include:

  • The Child Safe Products Act (A.3141-A / S.1526-B) would protect New York's children from toxic chemicals by better regulating the use of chemicals in kids' products.
  • The Environmental Protection Fund Enhancement Act (S.5403-A / A.7137-A) would increase resources allocated to the state's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) by phasing in unclaimed deposits collected by the state through the Returnable Beverage Container Law over four years.
  • The Solar Jobs Act (A.9149-A) would create thousands of new jobs and jumpstart investment in New York's growing solar energy industry by requiring that 3,000 megawatts be installed on the grid by 2021-enough to generate over 3,400 gigawatt-hours of electricity to power over 300,000 households, equivalent to nearly two percent of the state's total electric load.
  • The Global Warming Pollution Cap (A.5346-A / S.2742-B * not same as) would require that climate-altering pollution from all sources is cut by 80 percent by the year 2050. This target reflects the greenhouse gas level reduction that scientists say will help us avert the worst impacts of climate change.
  • The Fracking Hazardous Waste Loophole (A.7013 / S.4616) would end special exemptions that allow the gas industry to circumvent requirements for hazardous waste disposal, including fracking wastes. This bill would update state law so that all waste resulting from gas drilling that meets the definition of hazardous waste be treated as such and subject to all regulations related to its generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal.

To date, failing grades are the result of senators' votes on legislation that would have a negative impact on the environment if the bills were to become law. These include votes on the Farm Dam Safety Exemption (S.791), a bill that would undercut state agency permitting for environmental projects (S.2461), and a bill allowing the use of oversized ATV's (S.3318).

Preliminary scores have been calculated on votes for five bills, as well as co-sponsorships and committee votes on the Super Bills.

The Voters' Guide is the first and only record of New York State lawmakers' votes on legislation that will impact the environment. The Guide has been produced and distributed statewide for more than 40 years.


Senator -- Score

Eric L. Adams -- INC

Joseph Addabbo Jr. -- 39

James S. Alesi -- 9

Tony Avella -- 50

Greg Ball -- 39

John J. Bonacic -- 9

Neil D. Breslin -- INC

David Carlucci -- 16

John A. DeFrancisco -- 9

Ruben Diaz, Sr. -- INC

Martin Malave Dilan -- 34

Thomas K. Duane -- 59

Adriano Espaillat -- INC

Hugh T. Farley -- 9

John J. Flanagan -- 9

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. -- 9

Patrick Gallivan -- 16

Michael N. Gianaris -- 36

Martin J. Golden -- 9

Joseph Griffo -- 9

Mark Grisanti -- 23

Kemp Hannon -- 9

Ruth Hassell-Thompson -- INC

Shirley Huntley -- INC

Owen H. Johnson -- INC

Timothy Kennedy -- 25

Jeffrey Klein -- 16

Liz Krueger -- INC

Andrew Lanza -- 9

William J. Larkin Jr. -- 9

Kenneth P. LaValle -- 39

Thomas W. Libous -- 9

Elizabeth O'C. Little -- 16

Carl L. Marcellino -- 34

Jack Martins -- 23

George D. Maziarz -- 16

Roy J. McDonald -- 16

Velmanette Montgomery -- 55

Michael F. Nozzolio -- 9

Thomas O'Mara -- 16

Suzi Oppenheimer -- INC

Kevin Parker -- 45

José R. Peralta -- 25

Bill Perkins -- 45

Michael Ranzenhofer -- 9

Patricia Ritchie -- 16

J.Gustavo Rivera -- 45

Joseph E. Robach -- 9

Stephen M. Saland -- 9

John Sampson -- 23

Diane J. Savino -- 23

José Serrano -- 50

James L. Seward -- 16

Dean G. Skelos -- 9

Malcolm Smith -- 9

Daniel Squadron -- 45

Toby Ann Stavisky -- INC

Andrea Stewart-Cousins -- 59

David Storobin -- INC

David J. Valesky -- 16

Catharine M. Young -- 16

Lee Zeldin -- 9


EPL/Environmental Advocates was founded in 1969 as one of the first organizations in the nation to advocate for the future of a state's environment and the health of its citizens. Through lobbying, advocacy, coalition building, citizen education and policy development, EPL/Environmental Advocates has been New York's environmental conscience-ensuring that environmental laws are enforced; that new measures are enacted when necessary; and that the public is informed of, and participates in, important environmental policy debates.Visit to learn more.