Washington D.C. — Today the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) released its 2019 National Environmental Scorecard, showing the difference a diverse, pro-environment majority in the House of Representatives can make on the lives of people, especially the low-income communities and communities of color most impacted by the climate crisis and toxic pollution. The Scorecard is the primary yardstick for evaluating the environmental records of members of Congress and is available for download here, in Spanish here, and online at scorecard.lcv.org. The 2019 National Environmental Scorecard illustrates the stark contrast between Speaker Pelosi’s pro-environment led House that wasted no time passing legislation to protect our air, water, lands and wildlife, combat the climate crisis, and protect our democracy, and the Senate, where pro-polluter Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked progress at virtually every step.
In a significant update to scoring policies, the 2019 National Environmental Scorecard allows excused absences for votes missed due to family, medical, and disaster leave. And, for the first time, the Scorecard includes the votes of the five House Delegates representing American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands and the Resident Commissioner representing Puerto Rico.
The 2019 Scorecard found that new members who ran and won their campaigns on pro-environment platforms are now leading on these issues in Congress. In fact, under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership, the average 2019 score of the new House members who defeated members of LCV’s 2018 Dirty Dozen is 95 percent while the average lifetime score of the members they defeated is 6 percent.
“We are grateful to Speaker Pelosi and her pro-environment majority for prioritizing climate action and protections of our air, water, lands, wildlife, and democracy,” said LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld. “While pro-environment leaders supported policies that will protect communities across the country, especially low-income communities and communities of color, from the negative impacts of climate change-fueled extreme heat, natural disasters, and toxic pollution last year, Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s refusal to act on hundreds of important House-passed bills put the health of our children and families at risk for the benefit of his corporate polluter friends.”
The 2019 Scorecard includes 29 House votes on climate related bills, protections for our air, water, lands, and wildlife, and pro-democracy legislation. In the Senate, for the third year in a row, the majority of the 14 scored votes are confirmation votes on Trump’s anti-environmental nominees.
“The utter failure of the Senate, under the leadership of Mitch McConnell, to act on climate in 2019, reinforces why a pro-environment majority in the Senate is necessary,” said LCV Vice President of Government Affairs Sara Chieffo. “Not only did McConnell fail to move any pro-environment House bills last session, he led his majority to confirm former oil and gas industry lobbyists Andrew Wheeler and David Bernhardt to run the nation’s Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department, respectively, and worked with the Trump administration to reshape the federal judiciary in ways that will haunt us for decades.”
“When Congress fails to protect our fundamental rights to clean air and safe drinking water, our communities are the ones most impacted,” said National Director of LCV’s Chispa program, Johana Vicente. “We are incredibly thankful for the environmental champions in both chambers of Congress who stood up and fought for us in 2019. We will not forget the senators who voted against the health of our families when they sided with Trump and polluters time and again.”
Today, Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL) and Representative Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) joined LCV to release the Scorecard, recap progress made, discuss what lies ahead, and denounce the Trump administration’s repeated attacks on our bedrock environmental laws.
“With the nightmarish effects of climate change and environmental injustice more obvious by the day, each of us has a duty to do everything we can to ensure that all of our children are able to grow up on a habitable planet, breathing in clean air and drinking safe water—no matter the color of their skin, the size of their family’s income or the zip code they’re from,” Senator Tammy Duckworth said. “I’m thankful to have LCV as my partner in that effort.”
“I am fighting for clean air and water for Chicago’s communities, and my 2019 LCV score shows that’s exactly what I’ve done,” said Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04). “The Trump Administration may be rolling back environmental protections, but in our first year in Congress, the climate champions in the House showed people that when we’re in the majority, we get things done.”
Since 1970, the National Environmental Scorecard has been the yardstick for evaluating the environmental records of members of Congress. The Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from about 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which members of Congress should be scored. LCV scores votes on the most important issues of the year, including energy, climate change, public health, public lands, wildlife conservation, spending for environmental programs, and democracy. The votes included in the Scorecard presented members of Congress with a real choice and help distinguish which legislators are working for environmental protection. More information on individual votes and the Scorecard archive can be found at scorecard.lcv.org.