2019 California Environmental Scorecard

2019 CLCV Scorecard Explainer

Since 1973, the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) has released our annual California Environmental Scorecard which rates the actions of every state legislator and the Governor on environmental action each legislative year. Through the Scorecard, we seek to accurately reflect the impact that lawmakers have on addressing our climate crisis so voters can better understand how often their representatives in the state Legislature are voting for the environment.

We select the most significant environmental bills in each session and track how each legislator votes on each bill. Legislators' scores are shown as a percentage.

As the urgency to address both our climate and political crises heightens, we’ve revamped the Scorecard this year to reflect our current reality to be a powerful instrument for change. For the first time, CLCV graded legislators, the Governor and the entire state on our progress to make the significant change science tells us we need by 2030 to stop the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. We are looking to go beyond pats on the back and better illuminate who is driving bold change and who is stopping it. This includes scoring California’s overall performance, scoring legislators on their committee votes, and rating the Assembly and Senate Democratic and Republican caucuses.

In order to accurately score lawmakers, CLCV calculated individual lawmaker’s scores using:

  1. Their own committee and full house floor votes
    95% of score
  2. Scorecard bills they authored
    +1 for each pro-environment Scorecard bill authored
    -1 for each anti-environment Scorecard bill authored
  3. Their caucus’s (Senate or Assembly) average score
    3% of score
  4. The California Score
    2% of score

Our legislators need to measure success on their ability to pass bold climate policy and the entire state’s success in taking the action needed right now to protect our future. The new scoring method shines a light on whether the legislature is authoring and moving policy that will significantly move the needle on the climate crisis, who is actually leading by authoring these bills, where are the tough committee votes, and what is the real environmental policy difference between the caucuses. In a recent UC Berkeley poll, 85% of likely voters in California’s Democratic primary said climate change was their top priority and 47% said climate change should be the leading priority of the next president – higher than any other issue. We now know that we have ten years – until 2030 - to stop the catastrophic impacts. California lawmakers are equipped with the information, technology and will of the voters. With CLCV’s new approach to accountability, we expect to see fast and rapid bold transformative action. Legislators have a mandate to lead now.

There are times when legislators fight hard behind the scenes to stop damaging and hazardous policy, or fight for bold and important policy. Similarly, there are times when legislators aligned with polluters work behind the scenes to weaken or kill the strongest environmental bills before they can even get a vote. Looking at voting records alone doesn't tell that side of the story. This is where you come in. When the people of California make their voices heard by calling, writing and standing up to tell elected leaders their values and positions, our policies better reflect our great state. Voting is critical to our movement.

Climate Action Caucus

Members of the California Environmental Scorecard’s Climate Action Caucus have gone above and beyond as environmental champions to fight for bold climate policy and are leading the effort to address the climate crisis.

Polluter Caucus

Members of the polluter caucus have an adverse impact on the environment through either hindering bold climate policy, authoring anti-environmental bills, or otherwise rolling back our commitment as a state to be a global leader on climate action. These legislators do not represent their Assembly or Senate caucus’ stated commitment to addressing and prioritizing climate action.

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About California Environmental Voters

California Environmental Voters (formerly the California League of Conservation Voters) believes the climate crisis is here and this moment requires transformative change. California has the policy solutions to stop climate change but lacks the political will to do it at the rate and scale that’s necessary. EnviroVoters exists to build the political power to solve the climate crisis, advance justice, and create a roadmap for global action. We organize voters, elect and train candidates, and hold lawmakers accountable for bold policy change. We won’t stop until we have resilient, healthy, thriving communities, and a democracy and economy that is just and sustainable for all.

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