President, League of Conservation Voters
In 2011, the Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives unleashed a truly breathtaking and unprecedented assault on the environment and public health, the breadth and depth of which have made the current House of Representatives the most anti-environmental in our nation’s history. The 2011 National Environmental Scorecard is a sad testament to the radical nature of the U.S. House of Representatives in the first session of the 112th Congress. We applaud those members who opposed the multitude of attacks on vital public health and environmental protections in 2011. However, it’s deeply disappointing that so many members chose to put corporate polluters and other special interests ahead of the health and well-being of their constituents.
The 2011 Scorecard includes 11 Senate and a record 35 House votes on issues ranging from public health protections to clean energy to land and wildlife conservation. The House votes included in the 2011Scorecard are simply many of the most significant votes taken in a year that saw the House voting more than 200 times on the environment and public health.
This year, 31 senators earned a perfect 100% score, while in the House 24 members earned a perfect 100% score. In the Senate, 13 senators earned an appalling 0% score, while in the House four members earned a 0% score. A major indicator of the change in landscape in the House for 2011 is the fact that the average lifetime score of members defeated in the 2010 election cycle was 73% while the average 2011 score of the House members who replaced them is 15%.
While the House voted against the environment a shocking number of times, both the U.S. Senate and the Obama administration stood fast against the vast majority of these attacks. Indeed, not only did our cornerstone environmental protections emerge from 2011 largely unscathed, the Obama administration also made major progress through administrative actions to protect our air and water.
As we begin 2012, it could not be clearer that we stand at a crossroads when it comes to the kind of planet we will leave our children. LCV is grateful to the Obama administration, allies in the Senate and House, and the millions of people across the country who helped to ensure that the House leadership did not succeed in gutting our nation’s cornerstone environmental and public health protections in 2011. We look forward to continuing to work together in 2012 and beyond to protect the planet for future generations.
For over 40 years, the National Environmental Scorecard issued by LCV has been the nationally accepted yardstick used to rate members of Congress on environmental, public health and energy issues. Check out the full 2011 National Environmental Scorecard at www.lcv.org/scorecard.