This is the second article in a continuing series by the NRDC Action Fund on the environmental stances of candidates in key races around the country.
Today we're looking at New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District, stretching from the Philadelphia suburbs in the west, across the undeveloped Pine Barrens (the country's first National Reserve) to the Jersey Shore. In 2008, longtime state Senator John Adler was elected to his first term in Congress, winning the seat vacated by retiring 12-term Republican Congressman Jim Saxton. In November, Adler will be challenged by Republican Jon Runyan, a former offensive lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles.
A number of current and former New Jersey Republican Congressmen have been environmental champions - including Jim Saxton - but Runyan seems unlikely to follow in their footsteps. Despite playing for one of the greenest teams in professional sports, Runyan has been taking anti-environmental stands on the campaign trail. He has voiced support for drilling off of New Jersey's shore, echoing Sarah Palin's "all-of-the-above" approach to energy policy. He has been repeating the right-wing Heritage Foundation's fuzzy math about the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES). Runyan claims that ACES will cost "$1,870 for a family of four," when in truth, according to the nonpartisan, unbiased experts at the Congressional Budget Office, it will cost "about $175 per household."
Rep. Adler, on the other hand, has a long history as an environmental champion. In the New Jersey Senate, he sponsored the state's Clean Cars Act and co-sponsored its landmark Global Warming Response Act.
In his first year in Congress, Adler received an impressive 93% rating from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), which means he voted the right way at nearly every opportunity. Most notably, Adler voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) calling it "historic legislation" that will "spur the development of new sources of energy while confronting the threat of carbon pollution." He added, ACES "will lower energy costs and create new jobs for New Jersey families and small businesses....This bill will make America safer. It is time that we stop sending money to Middle Eastern countries that fund terrorist activities. Furthermore, by preserving God's earth, our children and grandchildren can continue to fish, enjoy the outdoors and breathe clean air."
The NRDC Action Fund believes that it is important for the public in general, and the voters of specific Congressional districts, be aware of this information as they weigh their choices for November.