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Representative John McCoy Named Legislator of the Year by Washington Conservation Voters

Rep. McCoy earns highest environmental community honor for his leadership to protect clean energy during the 2009 Legislative Session

Washington Conservation Voters named Representative John McCoy (D-38) as Legislator of the Year for his outstanding environmental leadership during the 2009 Legislative Session.

July 14, 2009

Seattle, WA – Washington Conservation Voters named Representative John McCoy (D-38) as Legislator of the Year for his outstanding environmental leadership during the 2009 Legislative Session.

This session, special interests sought to weaken the Clean Energy Initiative (I-937), approved by voters in 2006. At the start of the session and with support from the environmental community, McCoy prime-sponsored a bill to implement some needed reforms while preserving the original intent of the initiative to spur investments in renewable energy development. When it became clear that the large power producers and business interests would not support this bill, McCoy, as chair of the Technology, Energy & Communications Committee, prevented any damaging bills from advancing in the House.

“Representative McCoy personally stopped any legislation from moving forward that would have significantly undercut the initiative,” said Clifford Traisman, lobbyist for Washington Conservation Voters. “He understands the critical importance of investing in clean energy to deliver energy independence for our country and a strong economic future for our region.”

In addition to his leadership to protect the Clean Energy Initiative, Washington Conservation Voters also recognizes Rep. McCoy for:
•    Leading on efforts to preserve sales and use tax credits for renewable energy projects in Washington, which will benefit communities by creating new jobs and provide incentive for renewable projects of all sizes. Renewing these tax credits keeps Washington in a position to attract new, green business.
•    Leveraging his role as chair of the Technology, Energy & Communications Committee leading to the passage of Efficiency First (SB 5854), one of the four 2009 Environmental Community Priorities. Efficiency First will gradually raise standards for new building construction, while improving energy efficiency in existing public buildings through insulation, better windows, and improved heating and cooling systems.

“During the 2009 session, Rep. McCoy clearly established himself as a champion for Washington’s clean energy future, clean energy careers and the health of our state,” said Kurt Fritts, executive director of Washington Conservation Voters. “In a time when moving towards a clean energy future is critical for a strong economic and environmental future, Rep. McCoy is just the kind of leader we need.” Having served in the House since 2003, McCoy has consistently supported the environment and has a 100% Lifetime Score in the Washington Conservation Voters Legislative Scorecard.

I-937 was the first initiative that the environmental community had brought to voters in nearly two decades. After thousands of hours of grassroots volunteer efforts and educating voters on the importance of new renewable energy in Washington, citizens approved this measure in 2006. McCoy’s insistence on not passing out of his committee a bill that would weaken the Clean Energy Initiative led to the Governor’s intervention on this issue and a compromise deal, with which nearly all stakeholders could agree. The compromise ultimately failed to secure passage in the final days of the legislative session, leaving I-937 intact as passed by voters.

As the only statewide political voice for the environment, Washington Conservation Voters is proud to recognize Representative McCoy as the 2009 Legislator of the Year.

Recent winners of Washington Conservation Voters’ Legislator of the Year Award are Senator Chris Marr (D-6) in 2008, Senator Phil Rockefeller (D-23) in 2007, Senator Craig Pridemore (D-49) in 2006, Senator Erik Poulsen (D-34) in 2005, Representative Hans Dunshee (D-44) in 2004, and Representatives Fred Jarrett (R-41) and Sandra Romero (D-22) in 2003.

Upon notification of this award, Rep McCoy provided the following statement:
“It is such a high honor to receive this award from Washington Conservation Voters,” said Rep. John McCoy.

 “I’m humbled to be in the company of fellow activists and community organizers who champion the best interests of our families, our towns, and our society as a whole,” emphasized McCoy, who chairs the House Technology, Energy & Communications Committee. “And I’m grateful to be recognized by folks who are themselves working tirelessly for our environment – and who are themselves so dedicated to our environment – in their local Conservation Voter chapters and statewide work.

“Together, we worked hard this past session to protect our mission for Initiative 937; to balance our responsibility both for the climate and for the economy and to strengthen our commitment for clean, renewable energy alternatives.”

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Photographs available upon request.

Washington Conservation Voters is the statewide political voice for the environment. We work to elect environmentally responsible candidates to state and local offices. Working with our allies in the community, we advocate for strong environmental policies and hold our elected officials accountable both during and after the legislative session. Through our political work we are strengthening laws that safeguard the health of our communities, preserve the beauty of our state and protect our economic future. Find out more at www.wcvoters.org

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