Advocates, lawmakers highlight climate defense work, spotlight Gov. Youngkin’s reckless attacks on the environment

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Lee Francis | Deputy Director
Virginia League of Conservation Voters
(434) 989-3197 |


RICHMOND – On July 3, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters officially released its 2023 Conservation Scorecard, ranking all 140 members of the legislature and the Governor based on whether they stand for – or in the way of – a clean and healthy environment and a democracy that works for all Virginians.

Monday, several lawmakers who earned a perfect 100% score gathered with Virginia LCV in Richmond to discuss their important work holding the line on environmental progress in 2023, and highlighting the regressive and reckless climate rollbacks being led by the Youngkin Administration.

The group included a representative from the office of Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan, who had earned a perfect 100% in her last year as a State Senator and who Virginia LCV recognized in its Scorecard with a special acknowledgement honoring her for her continued leadership on environmental issues.

“The climate crisis is one of the greatest threats of our lifetime, and we must do everything in our power to reduce our carbon footprint, accelerate the deployment of clean-energy technologies, and advance environmental justice,” said Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan. “I am proud of the work my Virginia State Senate colleagues and I accomplished this past year, fending off attacks on climate action. I led passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act in 2020, making our Commonwealth the only state in the South with a 100% clean-energy standard by 2050, and we cannot allow the progress we have made to be undermined. Now in Congress, I will continue to be a climate advocate and fight for a healthier, greener future for every American.”

State lawmakers present included Delegates Rodney Willett and Schuyler VanValkenburg, and Senator Lamont Bagby, who fielded questions from the public and spoke to the importance of continuing to prioritize solutions that reduce pollution and secure a clean energy future.

“I’ve been incredibly proud to fight for conservation policies in the General Assembly the last four years, and it’s an honor to partner with the Virginia League of Conservation Voters through their great advocacy,” said Delegate Rodney Willett. “Environmental protections and transitioning to clean energy should be top priorities for all as we address the harmful impacts of climate change in our communities.”

“Since my first day in the General Assembly, I have been a strong advocate for environmental justice and the conservation community,” said Senator Lamont Bagby. I am proud to have ushered through legislation aimed at addressing the climate crisis in the House of Delegates and look forward to continuing the fight in the Virginia State Senate.”

“We’ve seen the impacts of the climate crisis across the Commonwealth, and Virginians deserve legislators that will fight to promptly confront the negative effects of climate change,” said Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg. “In the House of Delegates, I was proud to support legislation that safeguards our environment and creates green, innovative jobs for our workforce. I look forward to continuing this work in the State Senate.”

Following Richmond’s town hall Virginia LCV will be holding two more events this month in Newport News and Prince William County, with the goal of highlighting champion lawmakers and showing voters what’s at stake for our environment. With all 140 seats on the ballot this fall, Virginia LCV will be continuing to work to make sure climate action remains a top priority at the General Assembly.

“We don’t have any time to lose in the climate fight. And with Governor Youngkin actively working to take away our state’s best tools to combat this crisis, it’s vitally important that our lawmakers continue to hold the line at the General Assembly,” said Michael Town, Executive Director of Virginia LCV. “We are incredibly grateful to the lawmakers who were up to this task in 2023, and will be continuing to hold accountable the decision makers who were working to take us backwards.”

About us:
The Virginia League of Conservation Voters serves as the political voice of the state’s conservation community, working to make sure Virginia’s elected officials recognize that our natural heritage is an environmental and economic treasure for all. Virginia LCV works with conservation leaders across Virginia and strives for a conservation majority in state government. We secure good public policies on the state level and hold public officials accountable for their positions on environmental issues. For more information, visit