Virginia LCV releases 2017 Conservation Scorecard

RICHMOND – Today, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters released its 2017 General Assembly Conservation Scorecard, which ranks state legislators based on their votes on environmental issues during this year’s legislative session and is the only comprehensive tool in the state to determine how well Virginia’s legislature is protecting our environment when they’re in Richmond.

The 14 bills scored in the Senate and 13 in the House of Delegates run the gamut from transportation policy to expanding consumer access to solar power and combatting climate change, reflecting the full spectrum of issues we work on at the General Assembly each and every year.

As a whole, scores went up in the legislature, reflecting the bipartisan success the League had this year fighting for strong conservation protections. Among this year’s victories were the successful defeat of attempts to conceal the makeup of fracking chemicals from the general public, the passage of legislation requiring full, site-by-site assessments of coal ash storage facilities in Virginia and placing a moratorium on their closure until May 2018, and a bill that will help eliminate a perennial source of sewage pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

“This year’s scorecard makes one thing clear: at a time of unprecedented partisan attacks on the environment coming from our nation’s capitol, lawmakers in Richmond can still come together to do the right thing for conservation,” said Michael Town, executive director of Virginia LCV. “While we’ve made progress, Virginia’s environmental challenges remain great. Legislators are beginning to listen to their constituents’ deep concerns about water quality and land preservation, but fighting powerful corporate interests still remains an uphill battle at the capitol. On no issue is this more obvious than protecting our communities from the effects of climate change and the toxic legacy of dirty energy.”

The Conservation Scorecard helps hold lawmakers accountable when they fail to vote on the right side of conservation and also showcases the many delegates and state senators who have prioritized our environment and have the record to prove it.

“Legislators like me look to Virginia LCV’s scorecard to not only gauge where we need to be on environmental issues, but where we need to push our colleagues in the General Assembly as well,” said Delegate John Bell, a back-to-back Legislative Hero. “All Virginians deserve access to protected lands, clean and safe drinking water, and clean air and it’s incumbent upon their representatives to safeguard these natural resources.”

The scorecard also acts as an important resource for our partners in Virginia’s environmental community, who we work alongside with every legislative session in securing legislative victories and defeating attacks on our natural resources.

“The Conservation Scorecard showcases where Virginia legislators stand on important policies that impact our natural resources,” said Mary Rafferty, executive director of the non-partisan, non-profit Virginia Conservation Network. “This year’s scorecard highlights the bipartisan leadership in Virginia working together with the conservation community to protect the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the places we love.”

Overall, 28 legislators (nine state senators and 19 delegates) earned a perfect 100 percent voting record, giving them the designation of “Legislative Hero” for 2017.

Virginia LCV 2017 Legislative Heroes

Sen. Creigh Deeds
Sen. Adam Ebbin
Sen. Mamie Locke
Sen. Louise Lucas
Sen. Monty Mason
Sen. Jennifer McClellan
Sen. Jeremy McPike
Sen. Chap Petersen
Sen. Jennifer Wexton

Del. John Bell
Del. Jennifer Boysko
Del. David Bulova
Del. Betsy Carr
Del. Eileen Filler-Corn
Del. Daun Hester
Del. Patrick Hope
Del. Mark Keam
Del. Kaye Kory
Del. Paul Krizek
Del. Alfonso Lopez
Del. Dolores McQuinn
Del. Michael Mullin
Del. Kathleen Murphy
Del. Ken Plum
Del. David Toscano
Del. Mark Sickles
Del. Marcus Simon
Del. Vivian Watts

Another 16 delegates and nine state senators earned scores between 75 and 99 percent, making them Legislative Leaders for 2017.

Virginia LCV 2017 Legislative Leaders

Sen. George Barker
Sen. Rosalyn Dance
Sen. Barbara Favola
Sen. Janet Howell
Sen. Lynwood Lewis
Sen. Dave Marsden
Sen. Dick Saslaw
Sen. Lionell Spruill
Sen. Scott Surovell

Del. Lashrecse Aird
Del. Lamont Bagby
Del. Jeffrey Bourne
Del. Cliff Hayes
Del. Steve Heretick
Del. Charniele Herring
Del. Matthew James
Del. Mark Levine
Del. Joe Lindsey
Del. Bob Marshall
Del. Cia Price
Del. Sam Rasoul
Del. Rip Sullivan
Del. Luke Torian
Del. Roslyn Tyler
Del. Jeion Ward

In addition to these honors, Virginia LCV presented Senator Richard Stuart with a separate “2017 Legislative Leadership Award” in recognition of his leadership on a number of conservation issues this year, including leading the charge to keep raw sewage out of the Chesapeake Bay, fighting efforts to shield fracking chemicals from public disclosure, and supporting landmark coal ash legislation. Virginia LCV also presented Governor Terry McAuliffe with the League’s inaugural “John B. Jaske Virginia Conservation Legacy Award,” recognizing the governor’s leadership on environmental issues over his term.

About us:

Established in 2000, 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.