The GOP’s Worst Environmental Voting Record in Decades

A newly released scorecard finds House Republicans have never been more antienvironmental.

The Williams fire continues to spread as night falls in the Angeles National Forest on September 3, 2012 north of Glendora, California.
National Journal
Lucia Graves
Feb. 11, 2014, 6:19 a.m.

The League of Con­ser­va­tion Voters’ newly re­leased Na­tion­al En­vir­on­ment­al Score­card un­der­scores what’s be­come prac­tic­al wis­dom in Wash­ing­ton: En­vir­on­ment­al lead­er­ship in Con­gress is di­vided starkly along par­tis­an lines.

In a year Pres­id­ent Obama has taken sweep­ing ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tions on the en­vir­on­ment, House Re­pub­lic­ans had the low­est av­er­age score since LCV began put­ting out the score­card in 1970. Scores are based on a scale of 0 to 100 and cal­cu­lated by di­vid­ing the num­ber of pro-en­vir­on­ment votes cast by the total num­ber of votes tal­lied (for more on this, see LCV’s meth­od­o­logy). Av­er­age House Re­pub­lic­an scores have dropped stead­ily in re­cent years, from an av­er­age of 17 per­cent in 2008, to 10 per­cent in 2012, down to the low av­er­age of 5 per­cent for 2013.

It’s con­sid­er­ably lower even than what con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans av­er­aged dur­ing the Gin­grich re­volu­tion in the 1990s. In the four years Newt Gin­grich was House speak­er, the av­er­age Re­pub­lic­an score was 21.93 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to LCV’s re­cords.

This year’s score­card looked at 13 Sen­ate votes and 28 House votes, se­lec­ted by lead­ers of 20 dif­fer­ent green or­gan­iz­a­tions as the ma­jor en­vir­on­ment­al votes in the first ses­sion of the 113th Con­gress. Over­all, neither party came out look­ing par­tic­u­larly green. House mem­bers av­er­aged 57 per­cent ap­prov­ing on en­vir­on­ment­al votes, while sen­at­ors av­er­aged 43 per­cent — both fail­ing marks, by grade-school stand­ards.

The cleav­age between the parties is es­pe­cially vis­ible with­in Sen­ate party lead­er­ship, where Demo­crats earned an av­er­age score of 98 per­cent to Re­pub­lic­ans’ 9 per­cent. In the House, Demo­crat­ic lead­ers earned an av­er­age of 86 per­cent to Re­pub­lic­ans’ 6 per­cent.


“This score­card is a dis­turb­ing re­flec­tion of the ex­tent to which the Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship of the U.S. House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives con­tin­ues to be con­trolled by tea-party cli­mate-change den­iers with an in­sa­ti­able ap­pet­ite for at­tacks on the en­vir­on­ment and pub­lic health,” wrote the re­port’s au­thors.

A re­cent Pew Poll un­der­scores that sen­ti­ment. The na­tion­al sur­vey con­duc­ted in Oc­to­ber found just 25 per­cent of tea-party Re­pub­lic­ans say there is sol­id evid­ence of glob­al warm­ing, com­pared with 61 per­cent of non-tea-party Re­pub­lic­ans who say the same.

The full score­card is avail­able here.

MOST READ
What We're Following See More »
SHARES THEIR LOVE STORY
Bill Clinton Gets Personal in Convention Speech
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

“In the spring of 1971, I met a girl,” started Bill Clinton. In his speech Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, Clinton brought a personal touch, telling parallel stories of his relationship with Hillary Clinton and the work she has done throughout her career. He lauded the Democratic nominee for her career of work, touching on her earliest days of advocacy for children and those with disabilities while in law school, her role as Secretary of State, and her work in raising their daughter, Chelsea. Providing a number of anecdotes throughout the speech, Clinton built to a crescendo, imploring the audience to support his wife for president. "You should elect her, she'll never quit when the going gets tough," he said. "Your children and grandchildren will be grateful."

LOUD “BLACK LIVES MATTER” CHANTS RING OUT
Mothers Of The Movement Endorse Hillary Clinton
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

A coalition of mothers whose children lost their lives in high profile cases across the country, known as the Mothers Of The Movement, were greeted with deafening chants of "Black Lives Matter" before telling their stories. The mothers of Sandra Bland, Jordan Davis, and Trayvon Martin spoke for the group, soliciting both tears and applause from the crowd. "Hillary Clinton has the compassion and understanding to comfort a grieving mother," said Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin. "And that's why, in the memory of our children, we are imploring you — all of you — to vote this election day."

SOUTH DAKOTA GIVES HER CLINCHING DELEGATES
Clinton Officially Democratic Nominee for President
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS

With the South Dakota delegation announcing its delegate count, Hillary Rodham Clinton is officially the Democratic nominee for president, surpassing the 2383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Clinton is expected to speak at the convention on Thursday night and officially accept the nomination.

THE QUESTION
How Many People Protested in Philly Yesterday?
13 hours ago
THE ANSWER

About 5,500, according to official estimates. "The Monday figures marked a large increase from the protests at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where even the largest protests only drew a couple of hundred demonstrators. But it’s a far cry from the 35,000 to 50,000 that Philadelphia city officials initially expected."

Source:
NO BATTLEGROUND STATES LEAN TRUMP
NY Times’ Upshot Gives Clinton 68% Chance to Win
13 hours ago
THE LATEST

Only a day after FiveThirtyEight's Now Cast gave Donald Trump a 57% chance of winning, the New York Times' Upshot fires back with its own analysis that shows Hillary Clinton with a 68% chance to be the next president. Its model "calculates win probabilities for each state," which incorporate recent polls plus "a state's past election results and national polling." Notably, all of the battleground states that "vote like the country as a whole" either lean toward Clinton or are toss-ups. None lean toward Trump.

Source:
×