Grade F: Environmental Group Flunks House GOP

The League of Conservation Voters awarded House Republicans its lowest scores ever on environmental issues.

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul wait to speak at a rally on Capitol Hill in September 2013. The two legislators, members of the Tea Party, were given low marks on the 2013 League of Conservation Voters scorecard, which attributed the Tea Party with causing especially low scores among Republican congressmen.

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul wait to speak at a rally on Capitol Hill in September 2013. The two legislators, members of the Tea Party, were given low marks on the 2013 League of Conservation Voters scorecard, which attributed the Tea Party with causing especially low scores among Republican congressmen.

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They’re definitely in the red.

House Republicans fell to the lowest scores on record in the League of Conservation Voters’ 2013 score card, an annual review of how members of Congress voted on environmental issues made public Tuesday.

"The average score for House Republicans is the lowest they’ve had on our score card," says Jeff Gohringer, the pro-environmental group's communication director. "It’s lower than the average score House Republicans have received since the Gingrich Congress."

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In "key votes" ranging from offshore drilling to the Keystone XL pipeline, 20 evaluators from a range of environmental groups gave House Republicans – who made up the 219 lowest individual scores overall – an average score of a paltry 5 percent. That trumped the lackluster 2012 average and was well below the GOP average from the Newt Gingrich years in the 1990s.

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, got an average score of 17 percent, with caucus members filling out the lowest 45 scores in the Senate.

House Democrats scored an average of 87 percent, with their Senate counterparts tallying an average of92 percent. Overall, the two houses received total averages of 43 and 58 percent, respectively – up slightly from 42 and 56 percent in 2012.

The LCV attributed the low scores to the influence tea party conservatives, who it claims "has caused the House Republican average to continue a dismal decline," the group said in a statement.

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"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, LCV's president in a release. "With myriad anti-environmental attacks and record dysfunction culminating in a government shutdown, the 2013 score card largely reflects a failure to act."

The group found hope, however, in freshmen Democrats. They were "overwhelmingly pro-environment," scoring an average of 88 percent. Notably, Democrats who unseated 11 of LCV’s "Dirty Dozen" – House and Senate members "who consistently vote against clean energy and conservation" – racked up an average score of 91 percent.