LCV Scorecard Shows Disconnect Between Congress and Climate
WASHINGTON, DC – The League of Conservation Voters released their 2013 National Environmental Scorecard this month tallying the performance of every member of Congress on the year’s key environmental votes.
“There is a jarring disconnect between the frightening climate change developments of 2013 and the results of the 2013 National Environmental Scorecard,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “With myriad anti-environmental attacks and record dysfunction culminating in a government shutdown, the 2013 Scorecard largely reflects a failure to act.”
“We are on the cusp of a climate crisis – a point of no return that threatens our health, our environment, and our economy. But we are also on the cusp of significant innovations in clean energy and energy efficiency technologies. That’s why LCV’s work pushing for action on our environmental priorities is so important. I’m committed to fighting in the Senate to preserve our environment and strengthen our investments in clean energy, and I applaud LCV for its leadership on these issues,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who took part in the Febraury 11th Scorecard release to highlight efforts in U.S. Senate to push for action on environmental priorities.
The 2013 Scorecard covers votes during the first session of the 113th Congress. It includes 13 Senate votes and 28 House votes on issues ranging from public health protections to clean energy to land and wildlife conservation. Nationwide, the average House score in 2013 was 43 percent and the average Senate score was 58 percent. This Scorecard comes on the heels of another record-breaking year of climate change impacts, yet there are still more than 100 climate change deniers serving in Congress.
The good news is that there are bright spots worth highlighting. Freshmen Democrats are overwhelmingly pro-environment with an average score of 88 percent in 2013. Members who defeated the 2012 members of LCV’s Dirty Dozen have an average 2013 score of 92 percent while the Dirty Dozen members had an average lifetime score of just 12 percent.
The scores in the House, however, show the dramatic influence of the Tea Party, which has caused the House Republican average to continue a dismal decline. Scores have steadily dropped for House Republicans with an average of 17 percent in 2008, 10 percent in 2012, down to a staggeringly low average of 5 percent for 2013.
Fortunately, the Obama administration and the Senate rejected much of the House’s anti-environmental legislation, including attempts to expand risky offshore drilling, cut funding for clean energy, and undermine environmental and public health safeguards. The Senate also confirmed Gina McCarthy as Administrator of the EPA and Sally Jewel as Secretary of the Department of the Interior with bipartisan support.
“We applaud our many allies in Congress who are working hand in hand with the Obama administration and local and state leaders across the country to protect the planet for future generations,” said Karpinski.
For over 40 years, the National Environmental Scorecard issued by LCV has been the nationally accepted yardstick used to rate members of Congress on environmental, public health, and energy issues.
The Scorecard, with new features for sorting and displaying data, is available at scorecard.lcv.org.