Marc Rauch, from Bellport, New York. had the following letter in the March 2, 2017 edition of the Long Island Advance:
I was taken aback by Rep. Lee Zeldin’s “official positions” on protection of the environment, as reported last week in the Advance. Mr. Zeldin declares: “I am committed to safeguarding our environment, and protecting and preserving the abundance of natural resources on Long Island that are so important to our life, culture and economy.”
Mr. Zeldin’s statement is difficult to square with the nonpartisan League of Conservation Voters National Environmental Scorecard, which coincidentally also came out last week. According to this latest annual tally of votes in Congress affecting the environment, Mr. Zeldin earned a rating of only 11% (out of a possible 100%) for his first term in office. This means that Mr. Zeldin voted to harm the environment, not to help the environment, 89% of the time! Again according to the League’s tally, only two members of New York’s 29-member congressional delegation have a worse environmental record in Congress than Mr. Zeldin’s.
In the new Congress, which began in January, Mr. Zeldin has already voted to kill regulations preventing coal mines from dumping toxins into mountain streams, voted to kill regulations curbing wasteful and polluting methane leaks at thousands of oil and gas wells across the West, and voted for procedural changes that will make it easier for industry to scuttle new environmental safeguards before they can even take effect. His votes against the mountain stream and methane rules are particularly troubling because they came under the seldom-used Congressional Review Act; if Congress votes to roll back regulations under that law, the agency that issued them is barred from ever issuing “substantially similar” regulations again.
Mr. Zeldin assures us that his concern for the environment is deeply felt and “personal.” His actual votes in Congress tell a very different story, however, and for Long Islanders they can only lead to dirtier air, polluted bays and rivers, vanishing beaches, more severe storms and repeated flooding of our glorious coastline.