Scanlan, Gibbs get top marks from enviros
summit daily news
SUMMIT COUNTY – State Sen. Dan Gibbs and Rep. Christine Scanlan helped to make 2010 a “banner year” in the eyes of Colorado environmental advocates.
Both of Summit County’s state legislators received scores of 100 percent on the annual lawmaker scorecard published by Colorado Conservation Voters (CCV) this month. Scanlan and Gibbs voted in favor of a dozen bills selected by the organization as the most important environmental votes of the 2010 state legislative session. The bills addressed issues of water conservation, preservation of agricultural land, renewable energy, outdoor education, toxic clean-up and wildlife protection.
“They’re environmental champions,” CCV executive director Pete Maysmith said of Scanlan and Gibbs. “They have been extremely supportive and helpful along the way on a variety of issues, including the renewable energy standard.”
Both legislators have lifetime scores of 100 percent from the organization.
“That means a lot to me, because, frankly, I share those values of conservation,” Gibbs said. “I’ve always thought we need to be aware of what kind of Colorado we leave to our kids and grandkids. From a young age, I’ve had a love for the outdoors, and when I’m setting policy, I want to make sure the next generation has the chances I’ve had.”
Together, Scanlan and Gibbs sponsored one of the highlighted bills- a measure aimed at giving urban and underpriveleged children opportunities to spend time outdoors. The legislation established the Colorado Kids Outdoor Grant Program to fund outdoor activities for children and another program to fund the development of a statewide environmental literacy plan.
“I love that bill – that was my favorite bill to carry this year,” Scanlan said.
Scanlan said her work on the bill was partly motivated by research that has shown active children who spend more time outdoors do better in school. Furthermore, Scanlan said it will help children appreciate Colorado’s natural beauty and inspire good stewardship.
According to Maysmith, the bill quickly stood out as being among the most important environmental policies enacted this year.
“I think it’s an honor to be recognized by CCV. It means a lot to me to get a 100 percent rating.” Scanlan said. “Despite the economy, we were still able to do some good things on the environmental front, which is great for Colorado. It’s a real foundation for our future.”
SDN reporter Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-4630 or email@example.com.
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