For media inquiries, please contact Stefanie Francisco at sfrancisco@conservationalabama.org.

Conservation Alabama's full press kit can be found here.


AMENDMENT 2 PASSES, ALABAMA VOTERS PROTECT STATE PARKS

November 8, 2016

Montgomery, Ala. – Voters passed Amendment 2, voicing their support for Alabama's state parks and their desire to protect them from further budget crises.
 
"Tonight, Alabamians made it clear they saw through confusing ballot language and widespread misinterpretations and understood that state parks need to be able to keep the money they earn," said Tammy Herrington, Executive Director of Conservation Alabama. "We know that state parks are vitally important to our communities, and the voters demonstrated that tonight by passing Amendment 2."
 
Amendment 2 was proposed by Sen. Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) in response to public outcry in 2015 when five of our state parks were closed and seven reduced hours and services due to a lack of funds. The amendment will end the legislature's ability to appropriate funds earned by state parks and move those funds to be spent elsewhere. 
 
"This is a fundamental shift for our state parks," Herrington continued. "After several years of watching the money they've earned go out the door to fund other state programs, the state parks division will now be able to budget effectively without worrying about another transfer to the General Fund."
 
Founded in 1999, Conservation Alabama is the only full-time lobbyist for the environment in our state. Conservation Alabama has offices in Mobile and Montgomery to better protect the people and places you love. Learn more about Conservation Alabama by visiting our website.
 
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AL-79 CANDIDATES OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORT CONSERVATION

September 8, 2016

Montgomery, Ala. – While candidates for Alabama's 79th District House seat certainly differ on some issues, Jay Conner, Joe Lovvorn, and Sandy Toomer share a commitment to our state parks, public lands, and water resources. 

In advance of the special election on September 13, all four candidates who qualified to run for this seat were invited to share their priorities for Alabama's natural resources via Conservation Alabama's "Conservation Candidates" questionnaire. The responses of the three candidates who participated can be found here.

"We know that voters in this district value their natural resources and want a conservation champion representing them in Montgomery," said Tammy Herrington, Executive Director of Conservation Alabama. "We're pleased to see that Auburn and Opelika voters have their pick of three candidates who support conservation and understand that a healthy environment supports our economy and communities."

While the candidates differed on their interpretation of the legislature's role in protecting the environment, they agreed that part of the legislature's job is to support state parks and the Forever Wild Land Trust. They all also noted the importance of completing a comprehensive water plan to protect our freshwater resources from other states' interests.

Candidate Brett Smith did not respond to the questionnaire before the deadline. 

Founded in 1999, Conservation Alabama is the only full-time lobbyist for the environment in our state. Conservation Alabama has offices in Mobile and Montgomery to better protect the people and places you love. Learn more about Conservation Alabama by visiting our website.

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Alabama Congressional Delegation Votes Against Health, Safety, & Clean Energy

February 24, 2016

Mobile, Ala. – The League of Conservation Voters' 2015 National Environmental Scorecard reveals the most anti-environmental Congress in our history. The first session of the 114th Congress was a continuation of the attacks on the vital protections of the natural resources that keep our families and communities healthy and safe. The Alabama congressional delegation's scores are being released by Conservation Alabama in partnership with the national League of Conservation Voters. 

"In Alabama, a healthy environment is the foundation of resilient communities and a strong economy," said Tammy Herrington, Executive Director of Conservation Alabama. "We're grateful for allies like Rep. Terri Sewell who understand that connection and fight to protect our natural resources and the people who enjoy them."

Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) maintained her position as the highest scoring member of Alabama's delegation with a score of 71% by voting to protect the laws that keep our environment safe and preserve the funding needed for clean energy programs. The remainder of the state's delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives scored no higher than 9% because of their votes against the basic protections of the natural resources relied on by Alabamians.

In the U.S. Senate, Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions each earned a score of 4% by voting against the health and well-being of the environment on all but one of the relevant bills debated by the Senate. Both senators voted against an amendment that would have required tar sands producers to pay into the Oil Spill Liability Fund, leaving taxpayers on the hook for tar sands clean-up. They also voted for a bill that would have minimized public involvement in the discussion of drilling on public lands, preventing citizens from having a say in what happens to lands that belong to all of us. 

The 2015 Scorecard includes 35 House votes, which ties the record for the most votes scored in the House for the fourth time in five years, and 25 votes in the Senate, the second highest number ever included. Both chambers seemingly left no environmental issue untouched in 2015, with assaults on the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Antiquities Act. 

“The 2015 Scorecard shows that the radical leadership in the House and Senate wasted no time pursuing big polluters’ agenda last year, and their environmental assault is well underway in 2016,” said League of Conservation Votes President Gene Karpinski. “Fortunately, we have a growing force of environmental allies, including the president, as well as many in Congress, who are working tirelessly to combat climate change, transition to a clean energy economy and safeguard our air, water, lands and wildlife.” 

House District: Member - Score

AL-1: Byrne - 0

AL-2: Roby - 2

AL-3: Rogers - 0

AL-4: Aderholt - 3

AL-5: Brooks - 9

AL-6: Palmer - 6

AL-7: Sewell - 71

Senate - Score

Sessions - 4

Shelby - 4

For over 40 years, the National Environmental Scorecard issued by LCV has been the nationally accepted yardstick used to rate members of Congress on environmental, public health, and energy issues. LCV has released a new interactive National Environmental Scorecard, which allows users to easily see how every member of Congress voted since the launch of LCV’s first Scorecard in 1971. It can be found online at http://scorecard.lcv.org/.  

Conservation Alabama is the only full-time environmental lobbying organization in the state, and the state affiliate of the League of Conservation Voters. You can visit us online at www.conservationalabama.org and follow us on Twitter @ConservationAL.

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Montgomery mayoral candidates share conservation priorities

August 13, 2015

Montgomery, Ala. – In advance of the August 25 mayoral election, incumbent Mayor Todd Strange and challenger Artur Davis described their visions for making Montgomery's natural resources healthy and accessible. Strange and Davis were the only two candidates to respond to the questions out of the five contacted by Conservation Alabama.

"Conservation issues haven't been at the forefront of this election, but the environment is the foundation of our community," said Tammy Herrington, Executive Director of Conservation Alabama. "We want Montgomery's voters to hear from their candidates about where conservation fits into their priorities."

Both candidates expressed appreciation for our state's abundance of natural resources, and acknowledged that walkable neighborhoods and vibrant outdoor spaces are key to attracting high quality employers to the city. When asked how he would make Montgomery's natural resources accessible to all citizens, Strange mentioned recently completed projects, saying, "We have tried to expand parks and greenspaces, from the downtown farm, to Wright Brothers Park to The Environmental Park on Fairview which cleans up waste-water and runoff via an urban wetland ecopark, to renovating the Planetarium and Oak Park which surrounds it."

Davis noted a disparity in the city's park locations, saying, "Montgomery's parks and open spaces are mostly suburban: there ought to be a genuine effort to create open space near Fairview and the Mobile Highway. It struck me the day we reenacted the end of the Selma to Montgomery March how little open space exists in this sector of the city. I think we would also do well to sponsor more programs to bring kids from distressed communities to our city's best parks, for recreation and organized activities."

The full text of both candidates' responses can be found here. 

Founded in 1999, Conservation Alabama is the only full-time lobbyist for the environment in our state. Conservation Alabama has offices in Mobile and Montgomery to better protect the people and places you love. Learn more about Conservation Alabama by visiting our website.

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alabama power asks for increased renewable energy options

July 14, 2015

Mobile, Ala. – Conservation Alabama commends Alabama Power’s efforts to generate 500 megawatts of energy from renewable resources, including solar. The utility is applying for approval from the Public Service Commission to provide options for customers who want to purchase renewable energy, including projects that generate up to 80 megawatts each. 

“This is the beginning of what we would like to see as a long-term change in how Alabama produces and uses energy,” said Tammy Herrington, Executive Director of Conservation Alabama. “Alabama Power is signaling their commitment to renewable energy, and we look forward to working with them to expand this program to make our state a leader in solar energy.”

If Alabama Power’s request is approved, between 10% and 15% of their energy could come from renewable sources, including solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. While this plan focuses on large-scale solar projects, Alabama Power offers homeowners the option to generate their own solar power using rooftop panels. Alabama Power customers can also purchase Renewable Energy Certificates, which support the development of renewable energy.

“Renewable energy means cleaner water and air for all Alabamians,” Herrington said. “More companies and more citizens are demanding renewable energy options. This is a win for our environment, our economy, and our communities.”

Founded in 1999, Conservation Alabama is the only full-time lobbyist for the environment in our state. Conservation Alabama has offices in Mobile and Montgomery to better protect the people and places you love. Learn more about Conservation Alabama by visiting our website.

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bp settlement provides opportunities for alabama's natural resources

July 2, 2015

Mobile, Ala. – The announcement of a $2.3 billion settlement for the state of Alabama signals an end to the legal proceedings between BP and the Gulf Coast and the beginning of a new chapter for restoration efforts in the state. Conservation Alabama commends Attorney General Luther Strange’s team for reaching this settlement quickly and looks forward to working with partner organizations and the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council to restore Alabama’s environment, economy, and communities.

“It is vital that our legislators remember the intent of this funding,” said Conservation Alabama Executive Director Tammy Herrington. “The money allocated to the General Fund provides an opportunity to protect Alabama’s state parks and public lands, which are facing devastating budget cuts and serve as economic drivers for their communities and our state.”

According to Governor Bentley, $1 billion will be distributed to the state’s General Fund budget over 18 years but will not fix the state’s current budget crisis. As the legislature convenes for the special legislative session later this summer, our elected officials should consider this funding source as well as others that would support Alabama’s beleaguered Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Management.

Since the governor has indicated that the $1 billion going to the General Fund will be used for “economic recovery,” the remaining $1.3 billion allocated to the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council must be spent on projects that truly restore Alabama’s damaged environment. “Without projects that focus on long-term environmental recovery and stability, we risk losing the natural resources that are absolutely vital to the health of Alabama’s Gulf Coast’s environment, economy, and communities,” Herrington said.

Founded in 1999, Conservation Alabama is the only full-time lobbyist for the environment in our state. Conservation Alabama has offices in Mobile and Montgomery to better protect the people and places you love. Learn more about Conservation Alabama by visiting our website.

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ALABAMA CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION VOTES AGAINST CLEAN AIR, PUBLIC LANDS

February 26, 2015

Mobile, Ala. – The League of Conservation Voters' 2014 National Environmental Scorecard reflects the U.S. House of Representative's continued efforts to undermine public health and limit access to public lands. While the U.S. Senate was able to prevent many harmful bills from ever being debated, the second session of the 113th Congress was a continuation of the attack on the vital protections of natural resources. The Alabama congressional delegation's scores are being released by Conservation Alabama in partnership with the national League of Conservation Voters. 

"We know that Alabama's voters see conservation as a non-partisan issue," said Tammy Herrington, Executive Director of Conservation Alabama. "We want to continue to work with our elected officials to make sure that their votes in Congress reflect the reality that our economy and our communities depend on a healthy, accessible environment."

Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) maintained her track record as the highest scoring member of Alabama's delegation with a score of 77% by voting to clean up Superfund sites and limit pollutants. The remainder of the state's delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives scored no higher than 3% because of their votes against the basic protections of the natural resources relied on by Alabama's communities and economy.

In the U.S. Senate, Sen. Richard Shelby achieved a score of 20% thanks to his vote to preserve reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program. Sen. Jeff Sessions merited a score of 0% by voting against the health and well-being of the environment on all five relevant bills debated by the Senate. 

The 2014 Scorecard includes five Senate votes and a record 35 House votes on issues ranging from promoting safe and efficient energy to limiting pollution from pesticides and emissions. President Obama has defended against many of the House’s attacks and worked to make progress on critical environmental issues through administrative action.

“This year’s Scorecard shows that while the world experienced the hottest year on record, the U.S. House leadership continued its reckless assault on our environment, proving themselves nothing more than a carbon copy of the past three years,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “Fortunately, we have a force of environmental allies, including the president, as well as many state elected officials, who are intent on pulling us closer and closer to meeting the greatest challenge of our time—climate change.”

House District: Member - Score

AL-1: Byrne - 0

AL-2: Roby - 3

AL-3: Rogers - 0

AL-4: Aderholt - 3

AL-5: Brooks - 3

AL-6: Bachus - 3

AL-7: Sewell - 77

Senate - Score

Sessions - 0

Shelby - 20

For over 40 years, the National Environmental Scorecard issued by LCV has been the nationally accepted yardstick used to rate members of Congress on environmental, public health, and energy issues. LCV has released a new interactive National Environmental Scorecard, which allows users to easily see how every member of Congress voted since the launch of LCV’s first Scorecard in 1971. It can be found online athttp://scorecard.lcv.org/.  

Conservation Alabama is the statewide affiliate to the League of Conservation Voters. As the Alabama conservation community’s political organization, Conservation Alabama’s mission is to protect the people and places you love. You can visit us online atwww.conservationalabama.org and follow us on Twitter @ConservationAL.

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