The environmental advocacy organization released its "Conservation Scorecard" Jan. 9, with the aim of giving voters a tool to determine which legislators best represent their values. The scorecard gives each state legislator a score of 0 to 100 based on his or her votes on key environmental bills in the recent session of the General Assembly.
Keever, a freshman Democrat representing Buncombe's 115th District who made environmental stewardship a centerpiece of her 2010 campaign, ranked highest among local representatives, earning a score of 92. Rep. Susan Fisher of the 114th District – also a Democrat – earned an 84. However, Rep. Tim Moffitt, a freshman Republican from District 116, fell far short of his local colleagues, earning a score of 17.
The League highlighted Moffitt in a press release, noting that his score represented a dramatic change from that of his predecessor in the district, Jane Whilden, who had earned a lifetime rank of 88 until she lost reelection to him in 2010.
Overall, the group reported that scores have taken a nosedive since 2010, when the GOP took control of both chambers of the General Assembly for the first time in more than a century.
The average score in the House for the 2011 session was 43, down from 67 in 2009-2010; the Senate average dropped to 27, compared to 69 in 2009-2010.
"This year’s scores indicate just how aggressive the new leadership has been in rolling back the environmental protections that make North Carolina a great place to live and do business," the League wrote in a statement. "With the first bills proposed early on to limit or do away with regulations to the final days of the debate over drilling for oil off North Carolina’s pristine coast and for natural gas in our beautiful piedmont areas, it was clear this new Legislature had environmental protections in their cross hairs."
How local representatives did in the 2011 Conservation Scorecard
Rep. Patsy Keever: 92
Rep. Susan Fisher: 83
Rep. Tim Moffitt: 17
Sen. Martin Nesbitt: 50
Sen. Tom Apadoca: 8