This is the twentieth article in a continuing series by the NRDC Action Fund on the environmental stances of candidates in key races around the country.
Today, we examine Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional district — Bucks County, Montgomery County, and northeast Philadelphia. Currently, the 8th Congressional district is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Patrick J. Murphy (D). Murphy is being challenged by Republican Mike Fitzpatrick.
Where does Rep. Murphy stand on clean energy and environmental issues? In 2009, Murphy received a 93% rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Murphy also voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), about which he correctly says, it “will create millions of new American jobs, limit the pollution that causes climate change, and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil by investing in American-made clean energy.” In addition, Murphy co-sponsored H.R. 890, the American Renewable Energy Act, as well as H.R. 2222, the Green Communities Act and H.R. 1778, the Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) Program, among other excellent environmental legislation. Finally, Rep. Murphy touts the fact that “Bucks County is home to the fourth largest solar field in the United States – the largest east of the Mississippi River” and that “Nearly 1,000 people have been put to work building components for wind turbines and solar panels at the old U.S. Steel site in Fairless Hills in Bucks County.”
In contrast, Mike Fitzpatrick says he “oppose[s] legislation currently being considered by [C]ongress that would implement a carbon ‘cap and trade’ system.” Fitzpatrick also says he supports “a balanced national energy policy that includes safe, nuclear power, clean coal, responsible offshore drilling and economical, renewable energy.” When he served in Congress, Fitzpatrick received a 61% League of Conservation Voters rating in 2005 and a 73% League of Conservation Voters rating in 2006. Fitzpatrick showed a lot of promise last time he was in Congress, even co-cosponsoring Rep. Henry Waxman’s Safe Climate Act of 2006– which would have cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Unfortunately, he has had a change of heart and now says he is against “Cap and Trade.”
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.