Letter to the Editor: Obenshain has dismal conservation voting record


Conservation of the valley’s natural resources is of great importance to our economy and environment.  We face many challenges, including water and air quality, forest and farmland health, and maintaining our agricultural sector, among others.  Each year the nonpartisan Virginia League of Conservation Voters rates the performance of our elected officials in the General Assembly as it relates to their support for protecting our natural resources.  You can find the league’s complete 2015 scorecard by going to their website.

This year’s scorecard recently released by the league is very revealing regarding the performance of three key valley senators and reinforces that caring for our environment is a nonpartisan issue.  Sen. Jill Vogel, a Republican representing voters north of Shenandoah County, scored a 100 percent rating.

Sen. Emmett Hanger, a Republican representing voters south of Rockingham County, scored 75 percent and was singled out as a 2015 “legislative leader” for making conservation a priority. Specifically, he was recognized along with Del. Michael Webert (a Republican representing  Fauquier County and part of Warren County) for “leadership in securing cost-share funding for farmers in the Commonwealth to implement best management practices, and helping protect the quality of our rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay.”

And how did our own Sen. Mark Obenshain, a Republican, fare on the 2015 scorecard?  His rating declined from last year’s 40 percent to a dismal 14 percent!  If the adjacent Republican senators can place priority on conservation, what is Sen. Obenshain’s excuse?  He has had a consistently dismal conservation voting record since 2000.

It is time for voters to elect someone who will place the district voters’ interests first.  Democratic  candidate April Moore has a wealth of knowledge and experience about the environment and will represent our best interests.

Luther Santiful, Edinburg