Who'd Be a Green Governor? Neil Abercrombie09/13/2010
Editor's note: Today we're taking a look at the environmental records of the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor. Voters will choose between Neil Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann in Sept. 18's primary election. Their past work on energy and the environment point us toward an understanding of how they would manage Hawaii's natural resources as the state's leader. Here's the link to the related article about Hannemann.
When it comes to evaluating the record of a legislator, one metric is best: votes.
Unlike executives — who can in many ways be held personally responsible, fairly or unfairly, for the on-the-ground realities in whichever jurisdiction they manage — legislators are responsible only for the bills they introduce and champion and for the votes they cast.
Neil Abercrombie spent two decades in Congress as one voice out of 435 and can hardly be expected to answer for American environmental policy as a whole.
But he did take some high-profile positions and did cast hundreds of votes on important measures related to energy and nature, giving environmental groups and voters concerned with environmental issues alike ample opportunity to evaluate his green creds.
Abercrombie for many years has been considered a friend to the environment, earning high marks on the League of Conservation Voters annual scorecard since he took office — with a few exceptions. Let's take a look — through an environmental lens — at some of his important votes in Congress, including those relating to offshore drilling, endangered species and logging in Alaska.