Letter to the Editor

Scorecard aims to gauge voting on environment

Monday, April 8, 2002

To the editor:

A recent letter was critical of coverage of the League of Conservation Voters' 2001 national environmental scorecard as an example of "the media promoting liberalism in the guise of protecting the environment" for including votes on campaign-finance reform and international family planning.

These claims could not be further from the truth. Scorecard votes, chosen by a bipartisan committee of environmental and political leaders, are designed to distinguish those representatives and senators who, when faced with a clear choice between protecting the environment and siding with special corporate interests, choose the environment. Measures that pass unanimously or without a vote, like brownfield cleanup or salmon recovery, do not represent such a choice and are included on the scorecard only in rare circumstances.

Campaign-finance reform and international family planning were two votes out of the 22 used to determine the 2001 scores. Both are important environmental issues. Getting soft money out of politics is essential to eliminating the pervasive influence of polluting industries. Commonsense family planning reduces the depletion of increasingly scarce natural resources in developing countries.

The scorecard is intended to objectively evaluate the environmental voting records of federal elected officials, not to distinguish liberal, moderate or conservative ideologies. That is left for voters to decide.



League of Conservation Voters

Washington, D.C.