How Obama and McCain voted on environmental issues in 2007

How did Barack Obama and John McCain vote on environmental and clean energy issues in 2007?

By Glenn Maltais

According to the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Obama did OK, McCain, not so much.

Even though both presidential candidates are rigorously touting their environmental credentials, when it comes to walking the talk, the difference between Barack Obama and John McCain appears to be significant.

The national environmental scorecard, a ranking system that evaluates individual U.S. legislators based on their votes on environmental issues, highlighted 15 key votes last year–all of which senator McCain missed, resulting in a 0% score.

It is not uncommon for Presidential candidates to suffer from absenteeism during hectic election campaigns, or to miss roll call votes while being away from Washington for prolonged periods. Nevertheless, Obama managed to only miss four environmental votes, resulting in a 67% score – not great – but a whole lot better than 0%.

As scored by the LCV, McCain’s lifetime average is 24%, well below Obama’s 86%. Granted, this is not the greatest of comparisons, considering McCain has been in the Senate for a few decades, and Obama, a few years…but still, 24%? Not cool.

Out of the 15 votes where McCain chose to be elsewhere, the one that upset environmental groups the most occurred when an important piece of legislation fell one “yes” vote short of passage. The legislation involved tax incentives for renewable energy (set to expire December 31st, 2008) and repealed unnecessary tax breaks for the oil and gas industries.

Unfortunately, when it comes to what is arguably two the most important issues of our time, energy and the environment, McCain’s “straight talk express” may sound like it’s headed for greener pastures, but it appears to be circling the current administration’s big oil wagons. And, that leaves many environmentalists and those striving to usher in a new [clean, domestic] energy era, seeing red.

Marriott Meetings Go Green

Marriott Replaces Meeting Products and Services with Eco-Friendly Alternatives – 4,000 Trees To Be Saved by Just Using Pads Made of Recycled Paper

The average three-day meeting at a Marriott hotel attended by 1,000 people produces more than 12 tons of trash, uses 200,000 kilowatts of power and consumes 100,000 gallons of water. Beginning this summer, Marriott, JW Marriott and Renaissance Hotels & Resorts will introduce a series of meeting products that are eco-friendly and will help guests and meeting planners reduce their environmental impact. Marriott is building on an aggressive environmental strategy by adding new elements to green its meetings. To see more about Marriott’s efforts to green its meetings, click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61_-VNLwDcg

Products and Services include:

– 100% post-consumer fiber writing pads
– Bic Ecolutions® pens made from recycled content and biodegradable (Marriott purchases 47 million pens per year)
– Access to recycling containers in or near meeting rooms in many of the hotels
– Meeting rooms set with water service in pitchers or coolers rather than plastic bottles
– Boxed lunch containers made of recycled content, including biodegradable cutlery kits and napkins
– Organic, sustainable and natural food and beverage options in many hotels to include Fair-Trade teas and meeting room chocolate options
– Organic flower options
– Linen-less banquet buffet tables made of 49%-recycled aluminum and are 99% recyclable at many hotels
– Safe-to-donate food given to America’s Second Harvest’s network of food banks

“Our customers have been demanding greener meetings and we feel we can make a difference in the world by taking steps to reduce our footprint on the environment. This is just the beginning of an evolving program that continue to add ‘green’ products and services as they become available,” said Bruno Lunghi, CMP, Marriott’s vice president for event management. “An important element to any successful program is the engagement of our associates. As part of the program, event and sales managers will be trained on what makes a meeting environmentally friendly.”

Read more about Marriott’s Environmental Stewardship efforts