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Virginia Sierra Club Out With Its 2018 General Assembly Scorecard; Republicans Mostly FLUNK

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See below for a press release from the Virginia Sierra Club about its 2018 legislative scorecard. A few things jumped out at me:

  1. Not surprisingly, Virginia General Assembly Republicans are absolutely abysmal when it comes to energy and environmental issues. For instance, not a single one has pledged not to accept money from Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power. Most of them get horrible grades (e.g., among Republican State Senators, 15 get Fs, 4 get Ds, and 2 get Cs – Jill Vogel and Amanda Chase; among Republican Delegates, the vast majority get Fs).
  2. Democrats generally do very well on the Virginia Sierra Club scorecard, with two GLARING exceptions among Democratic State Senators: Rosalyn Dance and “Dominion Dick” $a$law, both of whom get Ds. Among Democratic Delegates, there are a slew of A+ grades and several Bs, with just one C grade – to Del. Luke Torian.
  3. I’m a bit confused about the legislators listed as signing the pledge to not accept money from Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power, as this list doesn’t match up with the Activate Virginia pledge. I’d love to know more about why the differences exist…
  4. Finally, I see a bunch of scores that seem counterintuitive to me, based on closely following the 2018 Virginia General Assembly session, with several members I would have expected to get As or A+s getting Bs, and several I would have expected to get Bs or Cs getting As or A+s. I guess it really comes down to what is – or is not – scored, as well as the methodology used in weighting (or not), etc.  This stuff gets complicated, but some of these scores simply don’t make much sense to me, with people I consider to have been environmental champions in several cases score lower than those I definitely do NOT consider to be environmental champions.

With that, here’s the press release…

Sen. Howell, Dels. Hope, Levine, Lopez and Sullivan earn 100 Percent in Sierra Club Virginia Chapter General Assembly Scorecard

Sierra Club scorecard inventories votes of Virginia legislators on energy and the environment

RICHMOND, Virginia – The Sierra Club Virginia Chapter published its annual Virginia General Assembly Climate & Energy Scorecard today. The commonwealth’s legislators were graded on their votes during the 2018 General Assembly Session on legislation impacting Virginia’s energy policies and standards to fight climate change.

“It is essential to focus on the decision makers close to home who are voting on state policies,” Corrina Beall, the Legislative and Political Director of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, said. “We cannot make strides in the environmental realm unless we hold our elected local officials accountable.”

For each vote supporting the Sierra Club’s position, a legislator received one point. If the legislator was also the patron of an environmental bill, that legislator received one additional “extra credit” point for the session. Cumulative points were then divided by the total number of opportunities to vote, creating a score that represents the likelihood that these legislators will support environmentally progressive policy.

This year, Sen. Howell (D-Reston), Del. Hope (D-Arlington), Del. Levine (D-Arlington), Del. Lopez (D-Arlington) and Del. Sullivan (D-Arlington) received a 100 percent, “A+” grade. All of their votes directly aligned with the Sierra Club’s values, making them top-tier environmental stewards. Del. Hope and Del. Lopez have scored a 100 percent every year since 2016.

The environmental issues evaluated include water quality, solar energy development, fracking, energy efficiency, flood protection, electric utility regulation and coal ash cleanup.

Please visit http://vasierra.club/ga2018 to view the scorecard