2015 Environmental Scorecard for the Oregon Legislature

2015's Notable Leaders

Scores only tell part of the story, especially this year. We give these awards to the legislators who vote the right way AND take a leadership role when it comes to protecting our environment.

Environmental Champion of the Year

Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland)

This award often goes to the chair of a natural resources committee. We made an exception for this passionate advocate for wilderness, wildlife, and climate action. For the last decade, Rep. Buckley has been a strong, steadfast voice for our natural legacy, whether it’s on the floor of the House, as Ways and Means Co-Chair, or behind closed doors. Rep. Buckley brings both a quick mind and a full heart to his work at the Capitol; his ability to inspire other legislators to do the same makes him a true environmental champion.

Dynamic Duo

To say that removing the sunset on the Clean Fuels Program was tough is an understatement. Both new to chairing the energy committees in their chambers, Sen. Edwards and Rep. Vega Pederson got up to speed – and fast – on dense policy caught up in a years-long battle. Both became powerful voices of truth against oil industry misinformation. Both were also leaders on other issues – Edwards on the Toxic-Free Kids Act and Vega Pederson on clean air.

Perseverance Award

Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland)

For four years, Rep. Keny-Guyer did more than just sponsor the Toxic-Free Kids Act. She studied and refined the policy. She brought together coalition members. She lobbied other legislators. She went toe-to-toe with the chemical industry - and finally she won. There are bill sponsors, and there are bill champions. Rep. Keny-Guyer, along with her co-sponsor Sen. Chris Edwards, was a bill champion. Because of their tenacity, Oregon kids will now be protected from harmful chemicals in their toys and other products.

Rising Stars

When freshman legislators care enough about an issue to successfully take the reins, you know that they are special. Along with Reps. Paul Holvey and Peter Buckley, Reps. Lininger and Helm were instrumental in bringing together their colleagues to take bold positions on environmental issues as a group. Rep. Lininger was courageous in leading on legislation to protect rural Oregonians from aerial pesticide spraying. Rep. Helm brought rationality to emotional issues around land use and wildlife. Meanwhile, as an all-around impressive co-chair of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources, Rep. Rayfield pulled stakeholders together to find compromise on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fee package.

Rep. Ann Lininger (D-Lake Oswego)

Rep. Ken Helm (D-Beaverton)

Rep. Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis)

Innovators of the Year

Rep. Tobias Read (D-Beaverton)

Rep. Read has been approaching environmental policy with a unique perspective for years, working to develop a pilot program that allowed some solar panel owners to sell their power back to the grid in 2009. In that same spirit, he introduced not one but two creative bills this session – one that would have moved Oregon away from coal power and toward cleaner alternatives by 2025 and another that would have encouraged conservation on public lands.

Sen. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland)

Sen. Dembrow spent the interim before session as Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. In that time, he developed a unique and collaborative approach to tackling tough environmental problems. By bringing together diverse groups, he moved Oregon closer to addressing diesel pollution, reducing health impacts from aerial pesticide application, and developing a better way to consider the environmental impacts of big projects.

Defender of the Year

Rep. Tina Kotek (D-Portland)

In her time as Speaker of the House, Speaker Kotek – known for her pragmatism and authenticity - has repeatedly stood up for Oregon’s natural legacy. She’s pushed behind the scenes to make bad bills better and she’s ensured that the right people are at the table when environmental issues are discussed. Perhaps best of all, Speaker Kotek is committed to passing the best public policy and has proven that she will not lower that standard in the face of political pressure.


About OLCV

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization with a simple mission: to pass laws that protect Oregon's environmental legacy, elect pro-environment candidates to office, and hold all of our elected officials accountable.

For more information about OLCV, visit our website at olcv.org.

About the Scorecard

For more than 40 years, OLCV has protected Oregon's natural legacy. An essential part of our work is holding our elected officials accountable. The OLCV Environmental Scorecard is not only one of our most important accountability tools, but also a tradition. The first scorecard was published in 1973.

By sharing how each member of the Legislature voted on the most critical conservation bills, we help Oregonians understand whether legislators listened to their constituents, or if they listened to special interest groups instead. It also serves as a summary of environmental bills and includes special recognition of the legislative champions.