Congress members of color get high marks on enviro report card. - Grist


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Congress members of color get high marks on enviro report card.

Each year, the League of Conservation Voters publishes its National Environmental Scorecard, which allows constituents to see how their representatives vote on environmental justice and public health issues. This week, it released its first-ever assessment focused solely on representatives and senators of color.

“Congressional members of color — for the most part — recognize the importance of environmental protections for their constituents and communities,” the report reads.

LCV evaluated policymakers on 55 votes, including legislation on protecting drinking water and programs to address lead contamination.

Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus averaged a 98 percent score on the LCV’s scale, while the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus averaged 90 percent and 89 percent, respectively. But those groups are almost entirely made up of Democrats. The Congressional Hispanic Conference, made up of 13 GOP pols of Latin heritage, averaged 10 percent — with Grist 50er Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida being the lone member over 50 percent.

The report specifically praises the work of Arizona Democrat Rep. Raúl Grijalva, who submitted three pro-environment amendments to Congress in 2016. One of those sought increased protections for farmworkers from pesticide exposure — an issue that made news this month when several laborers in California were poisoned when wind blew the neurotoxin chlorpyrifos into a field where they were working. It didn’t pass.