Who votes dirty? The question is posed by a new analysis from the NRDC Action Fund, released in conjunction with advocacy group Environment America. The "Who Votes Dirty?" report, released on September 12, lists members of the U.S. House and Senate as either "clean air heroes" or "dirty air villains" based on their votes on legislation related to air pollution.
99 members of the House and 43 senators were dubbed "heroes," while 139 House members and 39 Senators were labeled "villains," according to a press release.
The NRDC Action Fund's director, Heather Taylor, said in a statement, “Our analysis reveals the full extent of Big Polluters’ reach into Congress, where some members, especially in the Tea party-influenced House, do not miss a single opportunity to side with the dirty industry, leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves."
Using OpenSecrets data from August 2012, they found Senate members receiving "more than $500,000 in career polluter campaign contributions voted against clean air laws three times as often as those taking less, on average," according to a press release. House members with similar contributions above $100,000 "voted against clean air laws nearly twice as many times" as those receiving less than that amount.
Last year, HuffPost reported that "there [were] at least 159 votes held against environmental protections -- including 83 targeting the Environmental Protection Agency -- on the House floor alone," in the first year after Republicans gained control of the House after the 2010 elections.
The NRDC Action Fund is an affiliated but separate organization from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), according to the group.
Below, find the NRDC Action Fund's list of "dirty air villains" in the U.S. Senate, organized alphabetically by state:
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