Background on the National Environmental Scorecard
Since 1970, the National Environmental Scorecard has been providing objective, factual information about the most important environmental legislation considered and the corresponding voting records of all members of Congress. The Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from about 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who select the key votes on which members of Congress should be scored. LCV scores votes on the most important issues of the year, including energy, global warming, public health, public lands and wildlife conservation, and spending for environmental programs. The Scorecard is the nationally accepted yardstick used to rate members of Congress on environmental, public health, and energy issues.
Overview of the 2017 National Environmental Scorecard
There’s no getting around it: at the federal level, 2017 was an unmitigated disaster for the environment and public health with President Trump and his Cabinet quickly becoming the most anti-environmental administration in our nation’s history. LCV gave Trump an “F” for his first-year report card, which does not come close to capturing either the breadth or depth of his administration’s assault on environmental protections and the harm it is causing communities across the country – all to sell out our future to wealthy corporate polluters. This is shameful, especially in a year when the weather-related impacts of climate change have left painful scars on so many of our communities – hurricanes tore through Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and wildfires raged throughout California and much of the West. Now is not a time to exacerbate the climate crisis.
But as the 2017 National Environmental Scorecard – which includes 19 Senate and 35 House votes – details, rather than serving as a check on the Trump administration’s relentless attacks on the environment and public health, the Republican-controlled Congress has instead followed the administration’s anti-environmental lead. Nowhere is this anti-environmental collaboration more apparent than in eight of the votes that the Senate took confirming Trump’s historically anti-environmental Cabinet and sub-Cabinet nominees – there is simply no overstating the catastrophic impact of these joint personnel decisions. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has aggressively gutted the agency from the inside. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke removed vital protections for national monuments, coastlines and other public lands. Director of the Office of Management & Budget Mick Mulvaney proposed budget cuts to environmental programs and agencies that were so draconian even Congress rejected them.