This week, the League of Conservations Voters (LCV), which works to turn environmental values into national priorities, released the 2010 National Environmental Scorecard. For 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 2010 Scorecard was released amidst the greatest attack on the EPA's budget in 30 years and current assaults on the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and wildlife protections in Congress.
While the lack of progress in 2010 is highly disappointing, we applaud those members of Congress who fought to protect public health and the environment and reduce our nation's dangerous dependence on oil. Conversely, the 2010 Scorecard clearly exposes those members who put corporate polluters and other special interests ahead of the health and well-being of all Americans by opposing efforts to transition our nation to a clean energy economy, enforce commonsense pollution safeguards, and protect the environment.
The 2010 Scorecard includes six different Senate and nine different House votes on issues ranging from clean energy to public health protections to lands conservation. Given the disastrous impact of the resolution offered by Senator Murkowski (R-AK), LCV double scored that vote, which would have blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward with commonsense steps to reduce dangerous carbon pollution. Additionally, LCV took the unusual step of scoring co-sponsorship of Dirty Air Act legislation in the House. These steps bring the Senate total to seven and the House total to 10.
This year, 24 senators earned a perfect 100% score, while in the House 119 members earned a perfect 100% score. In the Senate, 28 senators earned an appalling 0% score, while in the House 81 members earned a 0% score. A major indicator of the change in landscape in the House for 2011, the average lifetime score of members defeated in the 2010 election cycle is 73%.
Unfortunately, the most important votes of 2010 are the ones that didn't happen: the Senate failed to even begin debate on a comprehensive clean energy and climate bill and also failed to respond to the greatest environmental disaster in our nation's history -- the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The 2010 National Environmental Scorecard clearly illustrates that there is much work to be done, and LCV will be there at every step of the way in 2011 and beyond, working to protect the environment and public health while transitioning our nation to a clean energy economy.
The full 2010 National Environmental Scorecard can be found at www.lcv.org/scorecard