The Virginia Sierra Club’s 2014 Generaly Assembly Climate & Energy Scorecard is out, and there’s a lot of interesting information in there regarding who’s great, who’s good, and who’s not so good when it comes to protecting Virginia’s environment and promoting clean energy. There were some definite surprises in the rankings, but one thing was sadly NOT a surprise: Republicans were almost uniformly horrible (e.g., all “F”s “D”s and “C”s in the Senate; mostly bad grades in the House, with a few exceptions like Robert Bloxom’s “A+;” Chris Stolle’s “A;” Gordon Helsel’s “B,” Randy Minchew’s “B,” Bobby Orrock’s “B,” Riley Ingram’s “B,” Chris Jones’ “B,” Keith Hodges’ “B,” Michael Webert’s “B,” and Tony Wilt’s “B”). What about the Democrats, all of whom you’d hope would get “A”s on the environment? Here’s a ranking of Virginia Democratic legislators from best to worst.
“A+” grades: Delegates Rosalyn Dance, Alfonso Lopez, Monty Mason, Sam Rasoul and David Toscano. Thank you to everyone who got a perfect, 100%, “A+” grade from the Sierra Club. You guys rock! 🙂
“A” grades: Senators Creigh Deeds, Adam Ebbin, Barbara Favola, Janet Howell, Mamie Locke, Louise Lucas, Dave Marsden, Donald McEachin, Chap Petersen, Phil Puckett (!!!) and Toddy Puller; Delegates David Bulova, Betsy Carr, Matthew James, Mark Keam, Kaye Kory, Rob Krupicka, Jennifer McClellan, Scott Surovell, Roslyn Tyler and Jeion Ward. Nice job by all these folks too, except for the vote in favor of SB 459 – which the Sierra Club correctly calls “Dominion’s Accounting Sleight of Hand.” General rule of thumb: if Dominion’s for it, vote against it unless there’s some overriding reason not to. Finally, I’m pleasantly amazed that “coal country “Sen. Phil Puckett got an “A.”
“B” grades: Senators John Edwards and John Miller; Delegates Mamye Bacote, Eileen Filler-Corn, Michael Futrell, Charniele Herring, Patrick Hope, Algie Howell, Delores McQuinn, Ken Plum, Mark Sickles, Marcus Simon and Luke Torian. Pretty good, but they did vote for SB 459 (“Dominion’s Accounting Sleight of Hand”), plus in the cases of Edwards and Miller for SB 25 (establishes a “woefully inadequate to address impacts of [an offshore oil] spill or other accident”).
“C” grades: Senators George Barker, Lynwood Lewis and Henry Marsh; Delegates Bob Brink, Johnny Joannou and Joe Morrissey. Sorry, but a “C” won’t cut it when it comes to protecting our environment. Nor will voting against net energy metering, or voting FOR the crazy “Teach the Controversy” bill (HB 207), which “was drafted to cloak fossil fuel funded skepticism over climate change as legitimate scientific controversy, and to put creationism on a par with the theory of evolution in science classes in public school.” That latter one is completely inexcusable, can’t even imagine a reason any Democrat would vote for it. WTF?
“D” grades: Senator Kenny Alexander, Chuck Colgan, Dick Saslaw and Jennifer Wexton. I’m not sure what to make of Wexton’s grade, actually wonder if that’s a mistake. As for Alexander, Colgan and Saslaw, I’d say they need to improve, but Colgan’s retiring and Saslaw’s simply doesn’t “get it” on environmental issues. As for Alexander, I sure hope he gets that grade up significantly in 2015.
“F” grades: No Democrats received an “F,” but a bunch of Republicans did — Senators Dick Black, Charles Carrico, John “Virginia state leader for ALEC” Cosgrove, Thomas Garrett, Jeff McWaters, Stephen Newman, Mark “Criminalize Miscarriages” Obenshain, Bryce Reeves, Ralph Smith, William Stanley and Frank Wagner; Delegates Les Adams, Richard Bell, Rob Bell, Kathy Byron, Ben Cline, Matthew Farris, Peter “Son of Dominion CEO Tom” Farrell, Todd Gilbert, Steve Landes, Dave LaRock, Richard Morris, Brenda Pogge, Charles Poindexter. These right wingnuts are the dregs of the dregs in the Virginia General Assembly in just about every way, including the environment.