LANSING – The Michigan League of Conservation Voters today released the Michigan delegation’s scores on the League of Conservation Voters’ 2020 National Environmental Scorecard. The state’s congressional delegation were scored on their environmental voting records amidst four interwoven crises plaguing our nation: the coronavirus pandemic, economic inequality, racial injustice, and climate change.
The national scorecard is the primary yardstick for evaluating the environmental records of every member of Congress, focusing on votes taken on environmental protections, including legislation protecting the Great Lakes and cleaning up waterways polluted by PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). The Scorecard is available for download here, in Spanish here, and online in both languages at scorecard.lcv.org.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan environmental champions answered the call and worked to pass critical measures to protect our Great Lakes and reduce dangerous contamination, like PFAS, that make COVID worse,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of Michigan LCV. “On the other hand, some in the Michigan Delegation continued to side with corporate polluters and put public health at the wayside by opposing common sense measures that would protect the health of Michigan communities.”
Below is a rundown of the scores given to Michigan’s congressional delegation (in alphabetical order):
- Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township – 92 out of 100
- Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing – 92 out of 100
- Former Rep. Justin Amash, I-Cascade Township – 14 out of 100
- Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet – 14 out of 100
- Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn – 100 out of 100
- Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland – 29 out of 100
- Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Flint Township – 100 out of 100
- Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield – 100 out of 100
- Rep. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township – 100 out of 100
- Former Rep. Paul Mitchell, I-Dryden Township – 14 out of 100
- Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland – 19 out of 100
- Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly – 95 out of 100
- Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Rochester Hills – 100 out of 100
- Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit – 95 out of 100
- Rep. Fred Upton, R-Saint Joseph – 62 out of 100
- Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton – 5 out of 100
“During an incredibly difficult and unprecedented year and with the most anti-environmental president ever, pro-environment members of the 116th Congress paved the way for transformational action on climate and environmental justice,” said LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld. “Now the pro-environment trifecta — led by President Biden and Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader Schumer — is poised to enact transformational progress that results in healthy, equitable, safe communities powered by clean energy.”
In the U.S. Senate, a key milestone highlighted in the Scorecard was passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which provides full and permanent funding of $900 million annually for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and funding to address the deferred maintenance backlog in our national parks and other public lands. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters played an instrumental role in passage of this historic legislation that will protect our nation’s natural heritage, enhance access to the outdoors and green spaces for communities nationwide and provide much-needed repair to deteriorating infrastructure in our national parks.
The Scorecard noted Michigan’s Rep. Dingell sponsored and led H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act of 2019, which takes important steps in addressing the growing national PFAS crisis that is threatening the health of millions of people across the country. Also called “forever chemicals” in recognition of their persistence in the environment and our bodies, PFAS are used in many consumer products and industrial applications but have been linked to numerous health problems like certain cancers, thyroid disease, neurological development issues, and more.
Dingell’s legislation received support from Reps. Kildee, Lawrence, Levin, Slotkin, Stevens, Tlaib and Upton.
An amendment to that bill, closing the loophole in the Clean Water Act that currently allows companies to discharge unlimited amounts of PFAS into waterways, was also supported by those representatives and Rep. Huizenga.
However, several Michigan representatives opposed both measures: Reps. Amash, Bergman, Mitchell, Moolenaar and Walberg. Huizenga voted against H.R. 535.
All of Michigan’s representatives and senators, except for Rep. Amash, supported the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019, which reauthorized the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through fiscal year 2026 and increases funding to $475 million by 2026.
Since 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been critical in helping clean up the Great Lakes by reducing pollution like phosphorus that contributes to harmful algal blooms, keeping out invasive species like Asian carp, restoring the coastline, and preventing future contamination.
The Scorecard also noted Rep. Tlaib (joined by Reps. Kildee and Slotkin) offered an amendment to H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, which would invest $4.5 billion per year for five years to fully replace lead service lines that provide drinking water to communities across the nation. The funding would prioritize communities that are disproportionately impacted by pollution and aging infrastructure, resulting in lead service lines in residents’ homes. The amendment was passed by the full House.
All of Michigan’s representatives voted in favor of the amendment except for: Reps. Amash, Bergman, Mitchell, Moolenaar and Walberg.
LCV has published a National Environmental Scorecard every Congress since 1970. The Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from more than 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, environmental justice, public health, public lands and wildlife conservation, democracy, and spending for environmental programs. The votes included in the Scorecard presented members of Congress with a real choice and help identify which legislators are working for environmental protection. More information on individual votes and the Scorecard archive can be found at scorecard.lcv.org.