League of Conservation Voters released the South Carolina delegation’s scores on its 2018 National Environmental Scorecard, and Representative Jim Clyburn’s name sits atop the state’s list. The Scorecard is the primary yardstick for evaluating the environmental records of every member of Congress and is available online at scorecard.lcv.org.
Clyburn came in with an impressive 94 percent score. His only votes against what LCV considered for the scorecard were both regarding nuclear waste storage, a hot-button item for South Carolina. The entire SC delegation voted the same way on those measures. But Congressman Clyburn voted for conservation-favorable measures in all other graded votes, differentiating himself from the rest of our federal legislators.
“We would like to see our U.S. Congressional leaders make different decisions when it comes to protecting the land, air, and water that South Carolina communities depend on,” said John Tynan, Executive Director of Conservation Voters of South Carolina. “We applaud Representative Jim Clyburn for his leadership. But with a national scorecard average score of around 50 percent, it’s troubling to see both our U.S. Senators and Representatives well below average –several with an incredible score of zero. When it comes to protecting our natural resources, we can do better.”
The 2018 Scorecard measures votes cast during the second session of the 115th Congress. In South Carolina, only one House members and no Senators earned a score of 80 percent or greater, while 5 House members and both Senators earned a score of 10 percent or less.
Here’s a quick rundown of how everyone scored:
Senator Tim Scott -7 percent
Senator Lindsey Graham -7 percent
Representative Jim Clyburn -94 percent
Representative Mark Sanford -40 percent
Representative Joe Wilson -3 percent
Representative Trey Gowdy -3 percent
Representative Jeff Duncan -0 percent
Representative Tom Rice -0 percent
Representative Ralph Norman -0 percent
The 2018 Scorecard includes 35 House votes that span the chamber’s assaults on clean air and water, lands and wildlife protections, investments in clean energy and more. In the Senate, the majority of the 14 votes scored are confirmation votes on anti-environmental nominees.
LCV has published a National Environmental Scorecard every Congress since 1970. The Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from about 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which members of Congress should be scored. LCV scores votes on the most important issues of the year, including energy, climate change, public health, public lands and wildlife conservation, and spending for environmental programs. The votes included in the Scorecard presented members of Congress with a real choice and help distinguish which legislators are working for environmental protection. More information on individual votes and the Scorecard archive can be found at scorecard.lcv.org.