League of Conservation Voters adds racial justice issues to 2020 congressional scorecard

League of Conservation Voters adds racial justice issues to 2020 congressional scorecard
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The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has added racial justice issues to its 2020 environmental scorecard, the group said Thursday in a press briefing unveiling the scorecard.

“There have been scored votes relating to environmental justice more broadly in past editions of the scorecard, but specifically votes related to racial justice have not been in the scorecard,” LCV Legislative Director Matthew Davis told The Hill. “But reflecting our belief that these intertwined crises are needing to be addressed together, we feel like it makes sense to include things like the inadequate police reform bill that came out of the Senate … and removing public monuments to racism from the Capitol.”

Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerProgressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair MORE (D-N.J.), who scored 100 on the 2020 scorecard, also spoke at the press briefing and addressed racial issues, specifically legislation he has introduced that would compel major polluters to pay for the cleanup of Superfund sites.

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“We know from the lead-water drinking problems that we have in this country … [there are] 3,000 jurisdictions that have more than twice the lead levels of Flint, Mich., to the respiratory problems to even Superfund sites that the longitudinal data [show if] you live around a toxic site, you have 20 percent higher rates of birth defects,” Booker said.

“We know the number-one indicator in America of whether you live around toxic sites, whether you drink dirty water or breath dirty air, is the color of your skin,” he added. “You cannot talk about solving the problem of climate change without giving fierce urgency to the issue of environmental injustice that’s plaguing communities all around our nation."

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates Beware the tea party of the left Bottom line MORE (D-N.Y.) also addressed the press conference via Zoom, saying that “as majority leader I plan to make the fight against climate change a top priority” and expressing optimism that “we can pass an economic recovery bill that reflects these values.”

Schumer previously suggested he was open to the use of budget reconciliation to pass environmental agenda items, telling MSNBC’s Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowRachel Maddow reveals she underwent surgery for skin cancer Rachel Maddow extends contract with MSNBC: reports OAN loses appeal in defamation lawsuit against Rachel Maddow MORE in January, “We're looking at ways. ... There may be things that are reconcilable” pertaining to climate.

The scorecard gave the House an average score of 59 percent in 2020, compared to an average score of 49 percent in the Senate. New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut were tied with the highest score for their House delegation, at 100 percent, while Rhode Island and New York were tied for the highest Senate delegation score with 100 percent.

North Dakota, meanwhile, had the lowest score for House delegations at 0, while on the Senate side, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming were tied at 0.