By Andy Birkey

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Reps. Tim Walz and Jim Oberstar each earned a 100-percent rating from Environment Minnesota in a year-end congressional scorecard published last week. Rep. Erik Paulsen scored the lowest among Minnesota’s member of Congress with a rating of 17 percent.

“We applaud Senator Klobuchar, and Representatives Oberstar and Walz for being environmental champions,” Environment Minnesota Program Director Ken Bradley in a statement Thursday. “With the help of these Congress people, the 111th Congress is making progress in several key areas. Already the House of Representatives has passed a bill to begin to repower the country with clean energy and limit global warming pollution.”

Walz responded to Environment Minnesota’s scorecard, “Green jobs that cannot be outsourced are a major part of our economic recovery and I am proud to have voted for legislation during 2009 that will preserve and protect our environment for future generations while also creating good jobs here at home,” he said. “I am honored to be recognized and look forward to continuing to work with Environment Minnesota as we pursue a healthier economy and environment in 2010.”

Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum each scored 93 percent. The urban duo voted against the Great Lakes Compact, but not because they oppose the idea of protecting the lakes from pollution; both said the bill was too weak and that their votes were in protest of a compromised bill.

Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson scored 87 percent. Reps. Michele Bachmann and John Kline got 20 percent each. Their votes for the Great Lakes Compact, The Great Lakes Legacy Act and The Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act kept the conservative duo out of the group’s “Natural Disasters” list of legislators with a zero score.

Rep. Erik Paulsen score could’ve been lower had he not voted for the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, which added federal protection to 2 million acres of wilderness.

“He has not followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Jim Ramstad, who consistently represented the interests of his district and voted with the environment over his nearly twenty years of service,” Bradley said.

Sen. Al Franken was not seated when the majority of the votes that Environment Minnesota tracks were taken. The only vote that was tracked, Franken voted with the interests of Environment Minnesota