Tri-Caucus Members Led on Climate, Environmental Justice, and Democracy Legislation in 2021 Paving the Way for Continued Progress

Courtnee Connon, courtnee_connon@lcv.org

Washington, D.C. — As members of Congress return from recess, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) released a new report examining the environmental records of members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), collectively referred to as the Tri-Caucus. 

Using data from LCV’s 2021 National Environmental Scorecard, the report details how all of the Tri-Caucus leadership scored 100% and every member received top marks of 90% or higher on the Scorecard. Many Tri-Caucus members have also led the introduction and passage of pro-environment amendments and legislation and have helped lay the groundwork for even more action to come on climate and voting rights. Legislation passed and introduced by Tri-Caucus members cover a wide range of critical issues including clean transportation and electric school buses, clean water, outdoor recreation, high quality union jobs, immigration, and voting rights. 

“Black, Indigenous, and Brown members of Congress have championed important pro-environment and democracy legislation rooted in justice and equity in 2021, paving the way for Congress and the Biden-Harris administration to act swiftly and boldly — LCV applauds their leadership and vision,” said LCV Government Affairs Advocate Darien Davis. “During a year where the global pandemic and attacks on our democracy have persisted, it has never been more clear that the voices and needs of communities of color and low-wealth communities must be at the center of federal policymaking. We look forward to our continued partnership with Tri-Caucus members as we work to pass and enact the transformational investments communities need in climate, clean energy, environmental justice, and good jobs.”

The report highlights multiple bills introduced by Black, Indigenous, and Brown members of Congress that were included as amendments in the Invest in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) Act. Some of the notable amendments and bills highlighted in the report are the EV Freedom Act led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (NY-14), the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 led by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (IL), and the Voters on the Move Registration Act led by Sen. Rev. Warnock (GA) and Rep. Nikema Williams (GA-05) as part of the For the People Act (H.R. 1). 

“In 2021, we took meaningful action to reassert America’s global climate leadership and make historic investments in transitioning to a clean energy economy,” said Senator Padilla. “California has long led the way on climate action, setting ambitious vehicle emissions standards and harnessing alternative energy sources. But we know that more urgent action is needed to limit the planet’s warming, prevent catastrophic climate impacts, and advance environmental justice for all. That’s why I’m proud to have received a 100% on my LCV Scorecard this year and I will keep fighting for Congress to legislate with the urgency that the climate crisis demands.”

“I’m honored to receive a 100% on the League of Conservation Voters’ (LCV) legislative scorecard for my work to create and support sustainable, clean energy jobs here in Georgia,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “I’ve long said that the best way to grow a sustainable economy is to strengthen the sustainability of our environment. We can fight climate change and protect vulnerable communities while still keeping our economy competitive and strong. I’m going to keep working alongside LCV to defend our environment and bring even more clean energy jobs and investments back to Georgia.”

“CAPAC and Tri-Caucus members are not only leading Congress’s climate and environmental legislation, we are also ensuring that environmental justice is a core component of this work,” said Representative Judy Chu (CA-27). “We know that historically marginalized communities like Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, and other communities of color face the greatest risks from climate impacts. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are more likely to live in coastal island communities that face greater risks from sea level rise and Asian Americans are more likely to live in neighborhoods with poor air quality and high levels of pollution. And I am so proud that CAPAC’s 76 House and Senate members averaged a score of 99.66% on the 2021 environmental scorecard.”

Read the full report here.

The 2021 National Environmental Scorecard was released last month and can be found here.

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