California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) Releases 2013 California Environmental Scorecard
Scores reveal who stood up for the environment in 2013 legislative session—and who didn’t
OAKLAND, Calif. (October 30, 2013) – The California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) – the political arm of the environmental movement in California – announced the release of its annual California Environmental Scorecard today. The record of the votes (available at http://www.ecovote.org/scorecard/) reveals how members of the state legislature and Governor Jerry Brown performed on the most important environmental and public health bills in the 2013 legislative session.
“If there is one major lesson embedded in the results of CLCV’s Environmental Scorecard, it is that Californians can’t take progress on environment and health issues for granted,” said Sarah Rose, Chief Executive Officer, CLCV. “We had important victories on preserving bedrock environmental laws, improving drinking water, strengthening alternative fuel and clean vehicles programs, and protecting our wildlife and families from toxics, but the influence of special interests like Big Oil on the outcomes of this legislative session are particularly stark.”
According to filings with the California Secretary of State, the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) spent a breathtaking $2.3 million in the first six months of 2013 to lobby lawmakers and defeat legislation that would have more adequately regulated their industry—more than any other interest group.
“For four decades, the CLCV Environmental Scorecard has helped California voters decide if lawmakers represent their values on critical issues like climate change, clean water, clean air, and protecting our families from harmful chemicals and pollution,” said Rick Zbur, President and Chair of the Board, CLCV. “Next year is an important election year. Our members, who represent the environmental majority in California, will support candidates who consistently stand up for the environment and our quality of life—not polluters’ profits.”
“Our work continues year-round to elect environmental champions and hold California lawmakers accountable to an agenda of environmental protection and progress,” said David Allgood, Political Director, CLCV. “This Scorecard is the first for many freshmen lawmakers, and we’re making sure that those who failed in their first year to reflect the conservation values of the voters will get the message loud and clear: their constituents demand leadership on the environment.”
In addition to advocating for proposals to improve drinking water, reauthorize successful air quality programs, reduce plastic pollution, protect the California coast and make renewable energy more accessible to all, CLCV joined with organized labor and other environmental groups to successfully stop attacks on the California Environmental Quality Act.
Priority bills that made it to the governor’s desk and were signed into law include a ban on dangerous lead ammunition (AB 711, Rendon); bills expanding consumer access to renewable energy programs (AB 217, Bradford and SB 43, Wolk); a bill reauthorizing the Carl Moyer program and Alternative & Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Fund (AB 8, Perea); and a bill that will reduce flame retardant chemicals in building insulation (AB 127, Skinner).
But Governor Brown continues to defy easy categorization on the environment. His 2013 score of 89 percent is commendable, but doesn’t reflect his Administration’s positions on other bills that failed to make it to his desk. On big-picture climate change goals, he provides inspiring leadership: joining in a major agreement with governors of other Western states this week and recently forming an unlikely partnership with China to work together on low-carbon strategies and clean technologies. But he has also expressed broad support for fracking and exemptions to the California Environmental Quality Act.
“To quote Governor Brown: ‘Protecting the environment is essential to our long-term prosperity. I have long recognized that environmental protection and economic development go hand in hand and will continue to promote both as Governor.’ CLCV and the environmental community urge the governor to live up to his own long and impressive career of service in the public’s interest – and that means being an unwavering champion for California’s environmental legacy,” said Rose.
In addition to the clear environmental successes and losses this year, there was also the unfinished business of protecting the public from fracking. SB 4 (Pavley) had enjoyed support from many environmental groups including CLCV for providing for the strongest national regulations of the risky process known as fracking; however, its strengths were undermined by problematic last-minute amendments. It was signed by the governor and is now law. CLCV will continue to advocate for a moratorium on and enhanced protections from fracking and for Scorecard bills addressing other environmental, health and safety issues that didn’t make it to the governor’s desk.
2013 California Environmental Scorecard Highlights:
Governor Jerry Brown: 89%
Senate average: 66%
Senate Democrats: 90%
Senate Republicans: 10%
Senators with 100% score: 13
Assembly average: 64%
Assembly Democrats: 87%
Assembly Republicans: 15%
Assemblymembers with 100% score: 18
Senators: Marty Block, Ellen Corbett, Mark DeSaulnier, Noreen Evans, Loni Hancock, Jerry Hill, Hannah-Beth Jackson, Mark Leno, Ted Lieu, Carol Liu, Bill Monning, Alex Padilla, Darrell Steinberg
Assemblymembers: Toni Atkins, Richard Bloom, Bob Blumenfield, Rob Bonta, Nora Campos, Ed Chau, Paul Fong, Chris Holden, Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Holly Mitchell, Kevin Mullin, Adrin Nazarian, Anthony Rendon, Nancy Skinner, Mark Stone, Phil Ting, Shirley Weber, Das Williams
About the California League of Conservation Voters
The political muscle of the environmental movement in America’s leading environmental state, the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) is the nation’s oldest grassroots environmental political action organization. CLCV uses sophisticated campaign tools to help elect pro-environment officials and to hold them accountable for passing legislation to protect health, communities and the environment. CLCV publishes the annual California Environmental Scorecard, which rates the actions of every state legislator and the governor on the state’s environmental priorities each legislative year. To learn lawmakers’ 2013 and lifetime scores visit www.ecovote.org/scorecard. The printed version of the Scorecard will be available in January 2014.
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