Submitted by Washington Conservation Voters
On Feb. 22, Washington Conservation Voters unveiled scores for the Washington delegation as part of the League of Conservation Voters 2016 National Environmental Scorecard. San Juan County’s Rep. Rick Larsen received a score of 100 percent.
The scorecard includes 17 votes in the Senate and 38 House votes, which sets a new record for the most votes scored in the House and reflects that the U.S. House remains the most anti-environmental in history. This is in direct contrast to President Obama who led the way on combating climate change and protecting our environment. The scorecard is available in both English and Spanish at scorecard.lcv.org.
“Once again, too many members of Congress were complicit in extreme attacks on many of our cornerstone environmental laws that protect our air, water, and public lands,” said Washington Conservation Voters President, Shannon Murphy. “Despite 2016 being the hottest year on record, some congressional leaders put polluters’ agenda ahead of the health of Washingtonians, environmental protections, and climate action. This is particularly disappointing from members of the Washington delegation where we have long had a bipartisan tradition of environmental protection.”
Despite a mixed bag locally, the number of environmental champions in Congress continues to grow, and they are becoming more vocal and effective than ever before. Environmental allies like Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell stood up for our clean air and water, public lands, and science. They fought for the health of working families and voted against the interests of bigpPolluters. Despite an anti-environmental congressional majority, President Obama and environmental champions in Congress were able to fight off a seemingly endless parade of attacks on environmental protections.
The 2016 Scorecard is being released at a time when major polluters have wasted no time convincing congressional and Trump administration allies to roll back environmental protections. While the attacks contained in the 2016 Scorecard were largely prevented from becoming law thanks to opposition in the Senate and the president’s veto pen, those attacks serve as a preview of what’s at stake now that polluters have an ally in the White House who can be expected to sign anti-environmental legislation should they reach his desk. Both houses of Congress have already passed a resolution eliminating the Stream Protection Rule using the radical Congressional Review Act legislative tool, and the House has passed a similar measure voiding the Bureau of Land Management’s Methane and Waste Reduction Rule — both of which are the subject of votes in the 2016 Scorecard.
In Washington state, six House members and both Senators earned a score of 80 percent or greater on the 2016 Scorecard, while three House members earned an abysmal score of 10 percent or less. The average Washington delegation score in 2016 was 67 percent buoyed by six scores of 97 percent or higher.
“2016 saw a relentless assault on both bedrock environmental protections and recent progress even as we experienced the hottest year on record – for the third year in a row – and world leaders came together on Earth Day to sign the historic climate agreement reached in Paris,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “Fortunately, President Obama and our allies in Congress beat back the vast majority of these attacks and stood up for the health of our families, communities of color on the frontlines of climate change, and the international consensus to take action on climate.”
- Senator Maria Cantwell (D) 100 percent
- Senator Patty Murray (D) 100 percent
- Rep. Suzan DelBene (D) 97 percent
- Rep. Rick Larsen (D) 100 percent
- Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (D) 8 percent
- Rep. Dan Newhouse (R) 0 percent
- Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers 0 percent
- Rep. Derek Kilmer (D) 97 percent
- Rep. Jim McDermott (D) 92 percent
- Rep. Dave Reichert (R) 34 percent
- Rep. Adam Smith (D) 82 percent
- Rep. Denny Heck (D) 97 percent