Heroes and zeroes

  Western politicians rack up some of the worst environmental voting records, according to the Washington, D.C.-based League of Conservation Voters. Scoring below 11 percent were Republican senators Dirk Kempthorne, Idaho; Conrad Burns, Montana; Pete Domenici, New Mexico; Bob Packwood, Oregon; Malcolm Wallop, Wyoming; and Larry Pressler, South Dakota. Experts from 27 environmental groups chose the issues, which included livestock grazing on public lands, amendments to the Endangered Species Act, mining law reform and protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Low rankers in the House included Reps. James Hansen, R-Utah; Craig Thomas, R-Wyo.; Bob Stump, R-Ariz.; Dan Schaefer, R-Colo.; Joe Skeen, R-N.M.; and Bob Smith, R-Ore. Not all Western politicians scored poorly. Democrats Patty Murray, Washington; Dennis DeConcini, Arizona; Max Baucus, Montana; Richard Bryan, Nevada; and Harry Reid, Nevada, all rated above 62 percent. Representatives who rated above 94 percent include Democrats Patricia Schroeder, Colorado; Bill Richardson, New Mexico; Elizabeth Furse, Oregon; and Karen Shepherd, Utah. The League reports that Congress voted on an unusually large number of environmental bills this year, largely due to the activism of the Clinton administration. To get a copy of the Scorecard, send $6 to 1707 L. St., N.W., Suite 550, Washington, DC 20036 (202/785-8683).