U.S. Rep. Joseph Sestak, D-7, of Edgmont, was lauded by the state advocacy group PennEnvironment for his environmental voting record.

The Philadelphia-based group releases statewide and national scorecards annually, tracking how politicians vote on environmental issues, such as promotion of alternative energy, protection of air and water purity, and the reduction global warming.

Sestak was one of five politicians in Pennsylvania to receive a perfect score of 100 percent this year for always siding with the environment, said David Masur, director of PennEnvironment.

"This is a great honor to receive this recognition. You don't vote conscious of it, you just vote what is right," said Sestak. "This is especially relevant in light of our national energy crisis, which has environmental implications."

While receiving a plaque for his spotless score Monday, Sestak announced the approval through the House Appropriations Committee of $250,000 to go toward a districtwide watershed management project.

Sestak said the project will enhance environmental infrastructure to area streams, including Perkiomen, Brandywine, Valley and Ridley creeks.

"I see this as the Delaware Valley taking a major step forward and not just bandaging an issue, but actually saying there's a comprehensive way to resolve it," Sestak said.

Sestak added that the environment and energy are vital to national security "as dependence on foreign oil hampers our national security by hindering our economic and environmental security."

W. Craig Williams, of Concord, Sestak's Republican opponent in the November election, said the congressman has taken extreme environmental positions.

"His support for extreme environmental policies has resulted in higher gas and food prices by locking our domestic energy resources away from us. As a result of these policies, we allow other countries to control our energy and, therefore, our economy," said Williams.

Other Pennsylvania officials to receive perfect scores were Reps. Pat Murphy, D-8, of Bucks County, Chris Carney, D-10, of Clarks Summit, Jason Altmire, D-4, of Cranberry, and Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.

"One of only a handful of elected officials in the state received a perfect score. Unfortunately, more often than not, our elected officials are scoring far below the spotless score of 100 percent," said Masur.

The average score in the state this year was 66 percent and the nationwide average score was 58 percent.

U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-6, of Chester County, received a score of 69 percent, while Joseph Pitts, R-16, of Chester County, scored zero percent on the state scorecard.

"These scorecards are an important tool to educate Pennsylvanians about how their elected officials vote when it comes to the environment," said Masur. "We urge other members of Pennsylvania's congressional delegation to join with Rep. Sestak and work to strengthen our environmental laws, to stop global warming pollution, move America towards a cleaner energy future and clean up America's most treasured waterways."

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