Name:National Caucus of Environmental Legislators
THE NATIONAL CAUCUS OF ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATORS (NCEL) was organized in 1996 for the purpose of providing environmentally
progressive legislators with an opportunity to coordinate their activities with respect to national legislative organizations,
and to share ideas both on affirmative and negative environmental issues... NCEL is [a] 501c3 organization and has a variety
of regional projects assisting legislators in the Great Lakes, Mississippi River, Pacific Northwest and California regions
advance their environmental priorities. In addition to the regional forums held for each of these projects, NCEL meets at
least once annually coincident with the national and Washington, DC meetings of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
NCEL is not affiliated with NCSL. Since 1996, NCEL has grown to nearly 900 state legislators representing all 50 states, representing
nearly 15% of all state legislators.
- Environmentally Progressive Legislators
- NCEL Members: Who Belongs to NCEL? Participation in the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is by invitation to elected Members
of state legislatures, regardless of political affiliation, who have demonstrated an interest in and commitment to environmentally
- Edmund S. Muskie Foundation: NCEL was formalized in September 1999 as a project of the Edmund S. Muskie Foundation. The support of the Muskie Foundation
allowed NCEL to hire its first full-time staff member and begin formalizing regional programs to facilitate communication
between state legislators.
- Coalition of Legislators for Energy Action Now: The Coalition of Legislators for Energy Action Now (CLEAN) was originally formed in 2009 as a partnership between NCEL, Clean
Energy Works and the White House, connecting legislators from across the country with the U.S. Senate and key Agencies as
they considered federal energy and climate legislation. In January 2010, a total of 1,210 state legislators signed CLEAN's
bipartisan letter to Congress and President Obama, calling for action to address climate change and advance clean energy.
Today, CLEAN works as a formal project of NCEL, engaging state legislators on both sides of the aisle to defeat polluter-funded
attacks on clean energy rules at the state level, by engaging national security experts and retired generals and admirals
calling for climate action, reduced reliance on oil, and rapid development of the clean energy economy.
- NCEL Board of Directors: Management -- The National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is governed by a Board of Directors and the participants in
the Caucus who attend NCSL events coincident with NCEL meetings. Each has an equal say in any matters pending before the Caucus.
- The Hon. James Hubbard: Chairman -- James W. Hubbard is Assistant Majority Leader in the Maryland House of Delegates and has served as a member representing
the citizens of District 23 for twenty years. Delegate Hubbard also serves as President of the National Caucus of Environmental
Legislators, and is on the Board of Visitors for the School of Public Health at University of Maryland College Park. He is
the Maryland Delegate Chair for the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and chaired the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
Environment Committee three times. In 2000, Delegate Hubbard not only sponsored legislation to create The Children's Environmental
Health and Protection Advisory Council, but he has served and continues to serve as the House Representative for the council
for the past twelve years. Delegate Hubbard proudly defends the environmental quality of one of Maryland's greatest treasures,
the Chesapeake Bay, by sponsoring and co-sponsoring various pieces of legislation that have had a positive impact on the protection
of the Bay. As a supporter of clean, renewable energy he is co-sponsoring the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2012 that
includes a specified amount of energy derived from offshore wind energy. In 2006, he was the lead sponsor of HB189, the Healthy
Air Act which is the strongest air emissions act in the United States. His Bisphenol-A prohibitions were passed in 2010 and
2011 which removed the toxic chemical from infant and child products. In 2012, Delegate Hubbard introduced legislation to
improve children's environmental health by prohibiting child care products containing flame retardant chemicals. Throughout
his time of service to the citizens of Maryland, Delegate Hubbard has been locally and nationally recognized for his many
environmental and public health legislative achievements.
- The Hon. Leon Billings: Secretary/Treasurer -- As one of the founders of NCEL, Leon volunteers as a consultant on NCEL's day-to-day activities. Leon
served as a Delegate in the Maryland House of Delegates from January 1991 to January 2003 serving the Chevy Chase-Kensington-Wheaton
area. Leon is a founding member of the Montgomery County Green Democrats, and a member of the Montgomery County Democratic
Forum. From 1966 - 1978, Leon served as staff director of the U.S. Senate's Environmental Pollution Subcommittee, with primary
responsibility for the major federal environmental laws now on the books, including the clean Air Act, the clean Water Act,
the Noise Control Act, and the Energy Supply and Environmental Coordination Act of 1974. He served with Senator Edmund S.
Muskie, from 1978 - 1981, first as his administrative assistant and chief policy advisor, then, when Senator Muskie was appointed
Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter, as Executive Assistant to the Secretary of State. From April 1982 - March
1983, Leon served as executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the political arm of the Democratic
members of the United States congress. Leon also served as an adjunct Professor of the University of Southern California from
1981 - 1994, directing the Politics in Washington Program of USC's Unruh Institute of Politics. Currently, Leon is President
of Leon G. Billings, LLC., a government relations consulting firm which designs public policy strategies on issues pending
before the congress, and advises clients on political matters and a broad range of environmental, energy, health, and safety
legislation. He is President of the Edmund S. Muskie Foundation. He also serves on the board of Visitors of the Edmund S.
Muskie School of Public Service in Portland, Maine. Leon serves as President of the Clean Air Trust, a grass roots advocacy
organization that Senator Muskie co-chaired.
- The Hon. Diana Urban: Board Member -- Diana Urban was first elected to the Connecticut General Assembly on November 7, 2000. She is a member of
the Legislature's Environment Committee and the Program Reciew and Investigations Committee. Representative Urban has significant
concerns about both the economy and environment, and has committed her career to finding and maintaining a balance that encourages
sustainable growth within Connecticut. She is a two time recipient of the American Lung Association of Connecticut's Breath
of Life Award for her work in helping to clean up the state's "Sooty Six" power plants. She was also named one of the four
most influential legislators on the environment by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, as well as an "Environmental
Hero." For twenty-six years Representative Urban was employed as an Economics and Political Science professor. Most recently
she taught Micro and Macro Economics, Environmental Studies and Regulation as an Adjunct professor at Three Rivers College
and Environmental Conservation at the University of Connecticut Avery Point. She is currently a Senior Consultant with the
Results Leadership Group in Washington DC. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Long Island University where she received a
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Representative Urban earned a Masters in Urban and Policy Sciences from SUNY at Stony
Brook and has studied for her PhD in Economics at the University of Rhode Island. Representative Urban also pursued a Professional
Diploma in Music from Longy Institute of Music in Cambridge and received a fellowship to the Kennedy School at Harvard University
to study public policy.
- The Hon. Robert Cowles: Board Member -- Senator Robert L. Cowles has served in the Wisconsin Legislature since 1983 when he was first elected to the
State Assembly, and has been a member of the State Senate since April 1987. Prior to serving in the legislature, Robert Cowles
graduated from the University of Green Bay where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. He then worked in the private sector
as a director of an alternative energy division for a communications construction company. Senator Cowles serves as the Chair
of the Committee on Energy, Biotechnology and Consumer Protection in the Wisconsin Senate. In this role, Senator Cowles is
known for his ability to balance environmental protection with business needs and has guided sound environmental/business
policy for the State of Wisconsin.
- J.R. Tolbert: Executive Director -- J.R. Tolbert comes to NCEL having spent 10 years in the non-profit sector. Most recently, J.R. spent
the past four years advocating on behalf of clean air, clean water and clean energy before the Virginia General Assembly.
In this role, J.R. identify the need for environmental organizations to try and identify what legislators are most interested
in and work on those shared goals to achieve change. Prior to his time lobbying in Virginia, J.R. worked for several non-profit
organizations to help achieve annual fundraising goals. He has significant experience in grantseeking, major donor development
and implementing donor stewardship programs. J.R. is a graduate of Auburn University where he studied Political Science.
- Dennis Ozment: Program Coordinator, Great Lakes Project -- Dennis Ozment served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for 24 years from
1984 - 2008. Rep. Ozment was respected by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle for his bi-partisanship. Dennis emphasizes
the need to prioritize and focus on environmental outcomes - using common sense approaches to solve environmental problems
without lowering standards. Dennis was the only Minority Member (Republican) to "Chair" a Minnesota House of Representatives'
Committee from 2007-2008. During his career in the legislature, Dennis held many chairmanships including: * Chair of the Environment
and Natural Resources Policy * Chair of the Agricultural, Environment and Natural Resources Finance * Chair of the Legislative
Commission on Minnesota Resources * Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Environment Committee Mr.
Ozment always prioritized the environment and was instrumental in the passage of the Clean Water Legacy Act, Electronic Waste
Management Act, streamlining the environmental review process while maintaining environmental standards, and led efforts to
craft budgets that protected the environment, natural resources and rural communities. Raised in Rosemount, Minnesota where
Dennis and Gayle also raised their family; Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps; A Retired Fire Captain who served 27 years with
the Minneapolis Fire Department; 3 Years on the Minneapolis Firefighters' Relief Assn. Board of Trustees. Dennis now resides
with his wife Gayle on Lake Marie in South Haven, Minnesota.
- Ruth Musgrave: Program Coordinator, Conservation Law Clearinghouse -- Ruth Musgrave has worked in wildlife and conservation law and policy
for over two decades. She founded in 1990 and was director of the Center for Wildlife Law at the Institute of Public Law,
University of New Mexico School of Law until it closed in August 2011. She managed numerous projects concerning wildlife and
biodiversity law, including training, youth education, facilitation, legal and policy research, drafting legislation, analysis
and publication. Musgrave is co-author of the Federal Wildlife and Related Laws Handbook and the State Wildlife Laws Handbook,
and was editor of the Wildlife Law News Quarterly and the online "Wildlife Law News Weekly Alerts" from 1993 to 2011. She
has been a Visiting Associate Professor and an Adjunct Professor and at the University of New Mexico School of Law, teaching
wildlife law, biodiversity and the law, advocacy, and intellectual property law. She is trustee of the Frances V.R. Seebe
Charitable Trust, and sits on the board of directors of several wildlife organizations. Ruth holds an honorary Doctor of Humane
Letters degree from The Colorado College, Colorado Springs. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico
School of Law, where she was lead articles editor for the Natural Resources Journal. She clerked for Chief Judge Oliver Seth
of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals; was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico; served
as general counsel to the New Mexico Medical Society; and was in private practice for almost ten years before founding the
Center for Wildlife Law. Musgrave is currently the president of Wildlife Policy Consulting Associates based in Olympia, Washington,
advising agencies and nonprofits on wildlife and environment policy issues.
- Jane Krentz: Program Coordinator Great Lakes and Mississippi River Projects -- Jane Krentz served in the Minnesota Senate for 10 years,
(1993-2002). She was Chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee for two years, and Chair of the Environment
and Agriculture Budget Division for the two previous years. Krentz was a member of the Legislative Commission on Minnesota
Resources for four years. She currently serves on the Board of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP). During her time
in the MN Senate, Krentz was recognized by numerous environmental and conservation groups for her work on preserving and enhancing
our natural resources. She worked across party lines to successfully increase funding for natural resources and was particularly
effective at developing coalitions between environmental groups and those devoted to hunting and fishing. Among the numerous
recognitions she received include: The 2001 John A. Rose Award presented by the Fish and Wildlife Legislative Alliance in
recognition of her "outstanding work in public policy regarding Minnesota's natural resource community." The 2001 Conservation
Leadership Award from the St. Croix Valley Chapter of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association The 2002 Minnesota Ducks Unlimited
Conservation Award for Elected Officials In 2003, Jane became the first woman ever to receive the Outdoor News Person of the
Year Award, a prestigious award from the major newspaper in Minnesota devoted to sportsmen and women. During the 2000 session,
Senator Krentz was instrumental in passing legislation that rededicated $25 million a year in lottery proceeds for natural
resource purposes. The additional funds are distributed to the Game & Fish Fund, state parks and trails, regional and metropolitan
parks and trails, local trail grants, and the state's three zoos. Jane graduated from Hamline University in 1974 with a degree
in Psychology and Elementary Education, and completed her MEd in Special Education at the University of Minnesota. Jane currently
serves as the Director of the McVay Youth Partnership at Hamline University, in St. Paul, MN. She remains a Research Fellow
(part-time) at the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) housed at the University of MN. She has also worked part-time
at the Guthrie Theater for over 40 years. Jane has served as the Regional Coordinator for the National Caucus of Environmental
Legislators (NCEL) for over 10 years and is passionate about the opportunity to build relationships across state lines and
party lines to promote stewardship of our natural resources.
- Jeremy Kalin: Program Coordinator, Coalition of Legislators for Energy Action Now -- Jeremy Kalin served in the Minnesota House of Representative
from 2007 to 2010, where he applied his real-world knowledge of energy efficiency and green building to chief author the nation's
strongest energy conservation law, the Demand Efficiency Act of 2007. As State Representative, Jeremy served as founding Chair
of CLEAN (Coalition of Legislators for Energy Action Now) and co-chair of Minnesota's Green Jobs Task Force. Jeremy and his
wife Hope moved out of the district in 2010 to Minneapolis, where they live today with their twin babies born in July 2011,
and where Jeremy serves as President of Eutectics Consulting LLC, a clean energy economic development consulting firm that
manages the CLEAN Network for NCEL.
- Senator Mary Margaret Whipple: Program Coordinator, Chesapeake Bay Program -- Mary Margaret Whipple recently retired from the Virginia State Senate where
she represented the 31st District (most of Arlington, City of Falls Church and part of eastern Fairfax County). Senator Whipple
served four terms in the state Senate from 1996 to January 2012. Before her election to the Senate, Mary Margaret Whipple
was a member of the Arlington School Board and a member of the Arlington County Board from 1983-1995. From her days on the
County Board, Senator Whipple has supported affordable housing initiatives and she is now a member of the Virginia Housing
Commission. Senator Whipple, a former chair of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) Board of Directors,
is an advocate for transit and served for 25 years on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission. The preservation of
Virginia's environment is her passion and she has patroned significant environmental legislation, including the establishment
of the Virginia Natural Resources Commitment Fund and bills relating to water quality monitoring, wetlands mitigation banks,
and mediation in environmental disputes, among others. Her proudest legislative achievement was the passage of the Virginia
Non-tidal Wetlands Protection Act. For her work on environmental issues, she has been honored by the Audubon Society, the
League of Conservation Voters, and has been named three times as Legislator of the Year by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
She chaired the Virginia Commission on Energy and the Environment and is a past chair of the Environment Committee of the
National Conference of State Legislators. A former teacher at Northern Virginia Community College, Senator Whipple graduated
from American University and holds a Master's Degree from George Washington University. She is married to Thomas S. Whipple;
they have two daughters and five grandchildren.
- NCEL Funders: The National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is a non-profit, a 501(c)(3) organization. The NCEL is currently funded by
- The Joyce Foundation
- The McKnight Foundation
- Scherman Foundation
- Education Foundation of America
- John Merck Fund
- The Brainerd Foundation
- The Bullitt Foundation