By Richard Locker, Memphis Commercial Appeal
September 13, 2010

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Conservation Voters, a coalition of 27 groups focused on environmental issues and preserving the state’s natural resources, commended 19 lawmakers on its annual legislator scorecard issued today.

The 2010 scorecard evaluates legislators’ work on 21 separate pieces of legislation that TCV deems positive or negative for the environment by giving positive or negative credit for floor votes, votes in committee and sponsorship of bills. Because not all legislation reaches the floor, some lawmakers have no scores at all.

This year’s top-ranked lawmakers from West Tennessee on the scorecard are Sens. Lowe Finney, D-Jackson, Roy Herron, D-Dresden and Beverly Marrero, D-Memphis, and Reps. Butch Borchert, D-Camden, G.A. Hardaway and Ulysses Jones, both D-Memphis.

In addition, Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, was given one of four “Good Green Deeds” awards for his “leadership and bipartisan commitment” to restore the state’s real estate transfer tax funds to a dedicated fund for land conservation and acquisition and for supporting a “Forever Green Tennessee” campaign.

The coalition’s top legislative priority of the year, banning a form of coal mining called “mountain top removal” – in which the tops of mountains are blasted away to expose coal seams for surface mining – failed to win legislative approval.

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