Do You Know the Score?

Oct 28, 2014
By Sarah Rose

Our annual California Environmental Scorecard is now live!

We're still celebrating the important environmental bills signed into law this year – including bills regulating our precious groundwater supplies for the first time, imposing the nation’s first ban on plastic bags, and making sure disadvantaged communities benefit from our transition to cleaner energy. Along with the passage of other critical legislation, this reflects a banner year for environmental protection. And our members helped make it possible.

Now, just in time for the 2014 General Election, it's time to find out how representatives in the state legislature performed on the environment during this nail-biter of a year. It’s time to find out the score!

Find out the score now! Click here to look up your representatives: »

Today, we’re releasing our annual California Environmental Scorecard, chock full of information about how Governor Brown and members of the Assembly and Senate performed on the most important environmental bills in the 2014 legislative session. It’s part of our mission to help environmental advocates know whether their elected officials are doing the right thing for the environment, which in turn helps determine whether they will earn our endorsement – and environmental voters' support in upcoming elections.

Check out the Scorecard now to look up your representatives. And for all those who want the full backstory of California’s environmental politics, check out our “Year in Review” for all the details on the recent legislative session.

What’s notable about our victories is that they are shared by every community in this diverse, beautiful state we call home. Access to clean water, clean air, and the benefits of our transition to cleaner sources of energy are critical to all Californians’ quality of life.

Despite the amazing progress this year, we continue to fight back against the influence of special interests like Big Oil. In addition to stopping a proposed moratorium on fracking (SB 1132 by Senator Holly Mitchell), the oil industry launched a major campaign this year to stop or delay the inclusion of transportation fuels in the state’s cap-and-trade program. Transportation fuels are responsible for 40 percent of California's greenhouse gas emissions, so their inclusion in the cap-and-trade program is critical to meeting the goals set by California’s pioneering climate and clean air law, AB 32.

Fortunately, a coalition of environmental advocates including CLCV, along with labor, businesses, scientists, and our champions in the legislature held strong, and as a result we’re still on track with our clean air and climate goals. However, dozens of members of the legislature signed letters to the CA Air Resources Board and Governor Brown asking for an exemption or “free pass” for the oil industry.

As the dust settles, CLCV takes the historic step of negatively scoring the signatories of the letters as if they had cast a vote against implementation of AB 32. These actions are a part of lawmakers’ permanent record of environmental performance.

Priority bills that made it to the governor’s desk and were signed into law include:

  • SB 1275 (De León) directs ARB to develop a long-term funding plan to meet the goal of putting one million zero- and near-zero emission cars on California’s roads; ensures that disadvantaged communities benefit;
  • SB 1204 (Lara) directs the Air Resources Board (ARB) to use revenue generated by cap-and-trade auctions to fund development and deployment of zero and near-zero-emission truck, bus, and off-road vehicle and equipment technologies;
  • SB 270 (Padilla) phases out single-use plastic bags in grocery and others major stores statewide;
  • AB 1739 (Dickinson) & SB 1168 (Pavley) requires local groundwater management planning and establishes oversight and monitoring of the state’s major groundwater basins;
  • AB 1471 (Rendon) places a $7.5 billion water bond on the November 2014 ballot in order to provide important and overdue investments to address California’s critical water needs.

As noted earlier, an example of unfinished business from this year's session is the environmental community’s work to protect Californians from the risks of fracking. Dozens of environmental groups including CLCV worked together in support of SB 1132 to place a moratorium on fracking, acidizing and other risky drilling methods, but it failed passage on the Senate floor. CLCV continues to advocate for a moratorium on fracking and for better protections from the risks of fossil fuel extraction in our state.

2014 California Environmental Scorecard Highlights:

Governor Jerry Brown: 92%

Senate average: 69%

Senate Democrats: 90%

Senate Republicans: 24%

Senators with 100% score: 12

Assembly average: 68%

Assembly Democrats: 87%

Assembly Republicans: 24%

Assemblymembers with 100% score: 24

Perfect 100%:

Senators: Beall, Corbett, DeSaulnier, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Mitchell, Monning, Padilla, Pavley, Steinberg, Wolk

Assemblymembers: Ammiano, Atkins, Bloom, Bonta, Chau, Dickinson, Fong, Gatto, Gomez, Gordon, Levine, Lowenthal, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, J. Pérez, V. M. Pérez, Rendon, Skinner, Stone, Ting, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada

For more than four decades, the CLCV Environmental Scorecard has helped California voters decide if lawmakers represent their values on critical issues like clean water, clean air, climate change solutions, preservation of wild places, and protecting our families from toxic chemicals and pollution. During this important election year, we encourage our members to use our Scorecard along with our endorsements to vote for candidates who recognize a clean environment as a common value, and will consistently fight to protect all Californian’s rights to a clean and healthy environment and a sustainable future for our children.

Want to know more about the story of this year’s legislative session, and what it means for next year? Check out our Scorecard online, and make sure to know the score.



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2018 California Environmental Scorecard

New for the 2018 legislative session: The 45th annual California Environmental Scorecard rates elected officials on 2018, another successful year for the environment in spite of heavy opposition from polluting industry.

Find out how your legislators did in 2018 in CLCV's California Environmental Scorecard.