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Contact: Chris Ford, Executive Director

Press Release 615-269-9090

For Immediate Release

OCTOBER 2, 2009

Tennessee Conservation Voters releases

2009 Legislative Scorecard

Tennessee Conservation Voters’ 7th Legislative Scorecard

Rates Environmental Votes

Nashville, TN (10/2/2009) Tennessee Conservation Voters, a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of Tennessee’s environment, announces the release of its 7th annual Legislative Scorecard. TCV consists of representatives from twenty-four member organizations, all of which are dedicated to the preservation of the state’s natural resources through effective legislative and administrative advocacy. The scorecard is published to provide a clear and concise way to understand and evaluate each legislator’s voting record on key legislation considered during the 2009 session of the 106th General Assembly.

Michelle Haynes, TCV Board of Director’s president, explains:

“Tennessee Conservation Voters has been publishing this scorecard for the past seven years to reflect legislators’ environmental votes. We work hard to quantify legislative votes and sponsorships in an objective way. We had some important victories in 2009. A record number of individuals qualified to be awarded Legislative Friends, who we have announced today---that’s the good news! But based on the record number of stumps we awarded, we’ve got our work cut out for us next year.”

Longtime TCV Board of Directors member Daniel Boone added:

“It’s an important tool for informing voters statewide not only of environmental issues, but more importantly, how their legislators are responding. Until this year, there had been a gradual improvement in overall scores, and while, there was good legislation passed related to energy conservation, there were also disappointments.”

Chris Ford, Executive Director noted:

"Without TCV's Scorecard, Tennessee's natural environment would not have
a watchdog in the General Assembly. While we’re happy with the progress we’ve made in our ability to advance a positive environmental agenda, there was too much time spent advocating against harmful legislation.

“2009 was a year in which was unprecedented in the sheer number of bills filed that threaten the integrity of the headwaters and hydrologic systems of Tennessee. While only one of those bills passed, it is among the greatest threats to clean water in our State’s history. A bill lessening restrictions on the amount of Selenium allowed to be dumped into Tennessee waters through dangerous coal mining practices failed after a courageous and heated three hour debate on the House floor late in the Session.”

Board Member Mary Helen Clarke stated:

“We were pleased to see some progress on the efforts to curb the unnecessarily destructive practice of mountain top removal coal mining in Tennessee. For the first time in our organization’s history, we are awarding “Good Green Deeds” to members who did not score highly enough on the scorecard to be awarded the distinction of Legislative Friend, but whose courageous voice and work on the environment at critical moments aided our work immeasurably.

Board Member John Noel added:

“One real highlight for all of us was the success of the Governor’s energy package known as the Tennessee Clean Energy Future Act of 2009 and the overall bipartisan support of efforts to move Tennessee toward cleaner sources of energy that will create new jobs in our state---now that’s exciting!”

Long time TCV Board member Jeff Stein commented:

“The scorecard gives us an opportunity to thank this year’s legislative champions. Several fought very hard to protect our environment. It also gives us a vehicle for pointing out the legislators who put other interests first.”

This year’s top-ranked members of the Senate are Senators Andy Berke (Hamilton and Marion counties), Jim Kyle (Shelby County), Beverly Marrero (Shelby County) and Reginald Tate (Shelby County)

The top-ranked Representatives are Mike McDonald (Sumner County) Tommie Brown(Hamilton County), Karen Camper(Shelby County) Kent Coleman (Rutherford County) Craig Fitzhugh (Crockett and Lauderdale Counties) Brenda Gilmore (Davidson County) Sherry Jones (Davidson County) Mike Kernell (Shelby County) Larry Miller (Shelby County) Mary Pruitt (Davidson County) Jeanne Richardson (Shelby County) Johnny Shaw(Madison and Hardeman Counties) Mike Stewart (Davidson County) Janis Sontany (Davidson County) Mike Turner (Davidson County) and Eddie Yokley (Cocke and Greene Counties).

Good Green Deeds Award recipients were announced for Senator Bill Ketron, Senator Doug Jackson and Representative Bill Dunn, honoring them for their leadership in trying to stop mountaintop removal mining, along with consistent environmental champion and a Legislative Friend this year as well, Rep. Mike McDonald.

The full scorecard can be viewed at


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