Green group: Tea Party weighs down GOP

House Republicans have the worst-ever environmental voting record, thanks in large part to the Tea Party, a major green group said on Tuesday.

In a scorecard released by the League of Conservation Voters, House Republicans have steadily dropped when it comes to key environmental votes, reaching their worst record since the group started the scorecard in 1970.

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Scores have declined from an average of 17 percent in 2008 to a "low average of 5 percent for 2013," LCV said. 

And the group places the blame squarely with the rise of the Tea Party. When Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House during the 1990s, the group says, the average score for Republicans was about 22 percent.

"This is the worst-ever score for House Republicans," said Jeff Gohringer of the League of Conservation Voters. "I think its a sign of how the Tea Party is weighing down Republicans."

When it comes to freshman Democrats, the scorecard ranks them "overwhelmingly pro-environment" at an average score of 88 percent in 2013.

“There is a jarring disconnect between the frightening climate change developments of 2013 and the results of the 2013 National Environmental Scorecard,” said Gene Karpinski, president of the group, in a statement.

“With myriad anti-environmental attacks and record dysfunction culminating in a government shutdown, the 2013 Scorecard largely reflects a failure to act.”

The conservation group notes that the Obama administration and Senate rejected a number of "anti-environmental legislation" put forward by the House.