Climate Hawks Vote Scorecard

2016 Priority Candidates—Coming in 2016

Our friends at the organization, Climate Hawks Vote, have created a scorecard for the U.S. House of Representatives, measuring both votes and leadership on climate change. Reprinted with permission from Climate Hawks Vote, here is what they say on their website about their scorecard:

Welcome to Climate Hawks Vote’s first scorecard, covering House Democrats. Each Democrat has two numbers. The first number scores the Representative’s vote on climate-related bills (2011-12) similar to scorecards used by many other issue groups. The second number is what differentiates us – we’re tracking intensity of leadership, we’re very excited about the work we’ve put into it over the last six months, and it deserves a bit of explanation. Our goal is to elect climate hawk leaders – those who prioritize and speak on the climate crisis – not just those who follow leaders’ directions on the rare occasions that climate comes up for a vote and otherwise remain silent. Simply put, climate change is the greatest threat facing the next few generations of humanity, not just another Democratic issue, but many politicians aren’t leading on it.
We began by asking: how can one lead in today’s polarized Congress?

Climate hawks lead by engaging the public on climate change. They give floor speeches and hold press conferences. They headline community town halls and environmental rallies. They author and cosponsor bills, even bills currently being throttled by Republican leadership, because some good bills make it into budget bills and others will be revived when Dems next take the House. They caucus to coordinate their work. Their websites clearly state their position on climate change. They write op-eds for newspapers both national and local. When hurricanes and droughts affect their districts, they publicly connect the climate change dots. When President Obama gave a major speech on climate in June 2013, their press releases praised him and sometimes urged further action. They do all this without detaching from other issues.

Measuring leadership: We analyzed the public records of over 200 House Democrats beginning in 2011, scoring them on public engagement; bills authored; bills cosponsored; press releases (yes, staffers, we do read them), working caucuses joined and led; and websites. We ranked 80-100 introduced bills each session from core to peripheral and awarded more points to authors, less to cosponsors. We weighted public engagement far more than any of our other factors. We focus only on climate, not traditional environmental issues; the only wilderness bills we’re scoring are those that permanently lock away oil/gas reservoirs and the only fracking bills we’re scoring are those affecting air quality. We’re looking in particular for legislation pricing carbon, strongly supporting wind and solar, phasing out coal, and farseeing adaptation. Read more about the Climate Hawks Vote scorecard by going to their website – Click Here

View the U.S. House Scorecard