Smith scores big on protecting the environment

Press release from the office of CONGRESSMAN CHRIS SMITH (R, NJ)

AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENT: Rep. Smith’s D.C. office released this statement on May 30, 2008


Smith Scores Big on Protecting Environment: 100% Score at Top of Republican List


Washington, May 30, 2008 | Ryan Goodwin (202-225-3765)

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) scored a perfect 100% on the annual 2007 scorecard released by the leading environmental advocacy group Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP).

“Over the past several years we have made great strides to help protect our environment, however, more needs to be done. As I have throughout my tenure in Congress, I will continue to promote legislative solutions to help improve the quality of our air, water and land and its impact on our health and safety,” said Smith whose votes included furthering the development of renewable energy technology, opposition to oil and gas exploration offshore and in environmentally sensitive lands, and support for increased land conservation efforts.

 “Congressman Smith’s perfect voting record on safeguarding our environment is another testament to his reputation as one of our nation’s most conscientious leaders. He consistently steps forward to provide the critical bi-partisan support needed to protect the air, water and natural resources we depend on. Simply put, Congressman Smith is a good steward of the world we live in. We need more like him,” said REP Government Affairs Director David Jenkins. 

Smith, who is the author of the first legislation to pass the House of Representatives to specifically combat global warming further remarked, “Additionally, I will continue to tackle our energy needs by working to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase our reliance on clean, 21st century renewable energy solutions.”

Smith was just one of four Republicans in both the House and Senate to receive a perfect score. Additionally, three members: Senator Susan Collins (ME), Congressman Dave Reichert (WA), and Congressman Chris Shays (CT) had scores above 100%.

“We are very proud of the environmental leadership that we are seeing from our top-scoring lawmakers. They are playing a crucial role in safeguarding our environment and building the bipartisan support necessary to address our most pressing environmental challenges,” said REP President Martha Marks.

The REP Scorecard rates US House and Senate Republicans for their votes on critical energy, public lands, air, and water legislation. Smith scored a perfect 15 out of 15 on scored votes in 2007, the first session of the 110th Congress. These votes include:

  • Support of an amendment to the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act (HR 3221) which would require electricity providers to obtain at least 15 percent of their power resources from renewables by 2020;
  • Opposition to an amendment to the FY ’08 Interior Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (HR 2643) which would open Outer Continental Shelf areas beyond 25 miles to gas drilling;
  • Support for the Energy Independence and Security Act (HR 6) which would require new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards of 35 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks and require 36 billion gallons of biofuels to be used by 2022. It also would direct the Energy Department to set new energy efficiency standards. This legislation has since been signed into law (PL 110-140); and
  • Support for the Water Quality Financing Act (HR 720) which would re-authorize a revolving loan fund for state and local governments to build and upgrade sewage treatment plants necessary for maintaining the “chemical, physical, and biological integrity” of American’s rivers, lakes, and coastal wasters, as spelled out in the Clean Water Act.

In addition to his 100% score from REP, Smith has stood out as a consistent leader on environmental issues in Congress. For the complete 109th Congress, Smith also received a score of 100% on the Environment New Jersey scorecard. He also scored 90% on the 2007 Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund scorecard.