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Environmental Advocate’s Rob Moore says the 2012 legislative session was a disappointment for environmental and other issues.
“This was one of the least productive legislative sessions generally, in history,” said Moore. “That unproductive nature extended to the environment, as well.”
He says for first time since 2006, bills listed as top priorities for environmental groups, none were approved by both houses and sent to the governor. The measures include solar power expansion, legislation to combat climate change, and a bill to treat wastewater from hydro fracking as hazardous waste.
As a result, Moore says, the scores awarded to lawmakers this year plummeted from previous years and are, “shockingly low”.
No Senator or Assemblymember won the annual Legislator of the Year award. The group scrapped the prize for 2012. They did give credit to two lawmakers, Assembly Environmental Committee Chair Robert Sweeney of Long Island, and, Assemblyman George Latimer of Westchester, who successfully championed a bill to use unclaimed bottle deposits to help replenish the state’s Environmental Protection Fund. Governor Cuomo has not yet signed the bill.
The group did give out its infamous Oil Slick award, to Assemblyman Sean Hanna, of the Rochester area. Hanna used to be the regional director of the state Department of Environmental Conservation in Western New York. Moore criticized Hanna for, among other things, sponsoring a bill that would repeal all of the state’s rules and regulations on pesticide protection, and for making “outlandish remarks”, saying that climate change doesn’t exist.