Gov. Janet Napolitano is slipping in her support of environmental issues — at least according to the Sierra Club. The organization’s Arizona chapter gave the state’s chief executive a “B” rating for her record in the 2007 legislative session.
That compares with Napolitano’s “A-” for 2006.
But at least it’s better than the “C” she got in 2005 after a Sierra Club lobbyist said the governor signed “a bunch of bad bills.”
The Sierra Club’s Sandy Bahr said Napolitano got points this year for her support of legislation designed to clean up the air in central Arizona.
The governor also got credit for signing legislation that restricts the ability of homeowners associations to limit the installation of solar devices, as well as her veto of a measure that would have provided some exemptions from conservation requirements for irrigation districts that were serving municipal customers.
But Napolitano irked the Sierra Club by putting her signature on a new law to provide financial assistance to water providers.
Bahr said that funding would be available to communities “despite the fact that they might be doing things that would destroy our rivers and streams in Arizona.”
Bahr acknowledged that the governor’s grade was based on her decision to sign or veto measures which were presented to her by the Legislature.
But Bahr said Napolitano could have indirectly affected the plan before it reached her desk.
“We think that the Department of Water Resources, which is an agency that works for her, could have been more active in getting a good bill through the Legislature and in insisting on some environmental protections in the bill,” Bahr said.
But Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L’Ecuyer said Napolitano does not believe the legislation is as flawed as the Sierra Club believes.
“We just have a different point of view,” L’Ecuyer said.
Bahr acknowledged that Napolitano got no credit in the Sierra Club’s scoring system for her initiatives on other environmental issues. That includes her executive order last year to have the state purchase vehicles with reduced carbon dioxide and other gases that contribute to global warming.