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 2020 National Environmental Scorecard

2020 was a year like no other as our nation struggled with four interwoven crises: the coronavirus pandemic, economic inequality, racial injustice, and climate change. 

These consequential crises shaped Congress’ agenda and votes – relief and national leadership in a time of vast hardship became overwhelmingly urgent.  Yet the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate approached their responses very differently; the House proposed and passed multiple comprehensive policy solutions while the Senate, in response to these crises, remained largely inert, with only a few exceptions. 

The 21 House votes in LCV’s 2020 National Environmental Scorecard advanced pro-environmental and pro-democracy bills, provisions, and government funding thanks to strong leadership from Speaker Pelosi and others. In stark contrast, of the 13 Senate votes in the 2020 Scorecard, eight were extreme and partisan nominations both to the federal bench and the Trump administration, and Leader McConnell refused to bring to a vote much needed democracy reforms, climate, water infrastructure, and clean energy investments, and aid to people that the House passed. Across 2020, Leader McConnell jammed through 44 lifetime judicial appointments for President Trump, while only holding votes on 25 bills or resolutions.  

Read the full overview of the 2020 National Environmental Scorecard here.