Vermont’s Federal Delegation Once Again Among Greenest in Nation, According to National Environmental Scorecard
Today, Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV) shared the results of the 2020 National Environmental Scorecard from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV). The Scorecard is a valuable tool for evaluating the environmental voting records of every member of Congress, and is available online at scorecard.lcv.org.
“President Biden has prioritized climate action from day one of his administration. We are proud to have federal representatives that will fight for our future alongside the new administration,” said Lauren Hierl, executive director of Vermont Conservation Voters. “Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders, and Congressman Welch have been longtime champions for Vermont’s environment – from clean, efficient energy initiatives to cleaning up Lake Champlain. With new federal opportunities for progress on the climate crisis, Vermont’s work to implement the state’s 2020 Global Warming Solutions Act has never been more important as we chart a path to a clean energy future.”
Once again, Vermont’s federal delegation is one of the greenest in the nation. Senator Leahy received a score of 92%, and Congressman Welch received a score of 100% for votes cast during the second session of the 116th Congress. Examples of their leadership include Senator Leahy’s hard work to increase funding for Lake Champlain clean-up and for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and Congressman Welch’s national leadership on energy efficiency initiatives, including for schools.
Senator Sanders received a score of 62% simply due to missing several votes during his Presidential campaign — but in the Senate and in his campaign, he has consistently championed policies to address the climate crisis, ensure access to clean and affordable water, tackle toxic PFAS contamination, protect valuable public lands, address environmental justice concerns, and many other issues important to Vermonters.
Senator Bernie Sanders noted, “Vermont is known not only for its lakes, mountains, and pristine landscapes, but also for the environmental ethics necessary to protect these cherished natural resources. I thank organizations like Vermont Conservation Voters for advocating for a bold environmental agenda, galvanizing Vermonters around these issues, and holding elected officials accountable for their positions and votes. Enough is enough. If we are serious about avoiding the worst consequences of climate change, we must act now.”
Hierl added, “We are proud to have Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders, and Congressman Welch representing us in Congress, and fighting for a healthy environment and thriving communities.”
LCV has published a National Environmental Scorecard every Congress since 1970. The Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from more than 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which members of Congress should be scored. LCV scores votes on the most important issues of the year, including energy, climate change, environmental justice, public health, public lands and wildlife conservation, democracy, and spending for environmental programs.
The 2020 National Environmental Scorecard includes 21 House votes that advanced pro-environmental and pro-democracy bills, provisions, and government funding. For the first time, the 2020 Scorecard also includes votes on removing public monuments, racism and policing and criminal justice reform. The same damaging system—racism—is at the root of climate injustice, environmental injustice, and police brutality. These struggles are intertwined and must be addressed together.
On a national level, LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said: “During an incredibly difficult and unprecedented year and with the most anti-environmental president ever, pro-environment members of the 116th Congress paved the way for transformational action on climate and environmental justice. Now the pro-environment trifecta—led by President Biden and Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader Schumer—is poised to enact transformational progress that results in healthy, equitable, safe communities powered by clean energy.”
The votes included in the Scorecard help distinguish which legislators are working for environmental protection, and which have allowed these critical issues to take a backseat. More information on individual votes and the Scorecard archive can be found at scorecard.lcv.org.