How It Works
Since 1973, California Environmental Voters has released our annual California Environmental Scorecard, which grades the California Legislature and Governor on their environmental and climate actions from the prior legislative year. For over 50 years, the Scorecard has served as a key educational, transparency, and accountability resource for voters to get an insider’s view on how well their elected representatives are truly acting on climate.
How Legislators Are Scored
We identified the most significant environmental bills from the 2023 legislative session and tracked how often legislators voted for climate action. Scores are shown as a percentage that reflect the legislator’s pro-environmental votes, with +1% or -1% dependent on whether the legislator was a main author or principle co-author of a Scorecard bill or not. Those who accepted oil money in recent election cycles, the last two years for Assemblymembers and the last four years for Senators, have -5% deducted from their overall score.
How the Governor Is Scored
The Governor’s score is weighted so that 80% of his score is dependent on the rate of environmental bills signed or vetoed and 20% of his score is dependent on California’s overall score, since the Governor has an outsized impact on how well the state does on the whole. Additionally, extra credit was added on top of his overall score for major pro-environmental actions, and points were deducted from his score for major anti-environmental actions that the Governor and his administration were responsible for.
How the Assembly Speaker Is Scored
The Speaker of the Assembly has a critical role as the leader of the Assembly to prioritize climate and make sure climate bills pass. Since Speaker Rivas was elected Speaker halfway through the year, the Assembly Democratic Caucus average score is weighted less in his score. For this reason the Speaker’s score is weighted so that 90% is dependent on his environmental voting record, 5% is dependent on the Assembly Democratic caucus’ average score, and 5% is dependent on California’s score.
How the Senate Pro Tem Is Scored
The Senate Pro Tem has a critical role as the leader of the Senate to prioritize climate and make sure climate bills pass. For this reason the Pro Tem’s score is weighted so that 80% is dependent on her environmental voting record, 15% is dependent on the Senate Democratic Caucus average score, and 5% is dependent on California’s score.
Oil Money Badges
Because Big Oil’s campaign contributions have political influence, it’s critical that the public knows which legislators are accepting oil money.
In the 2023 Scorecard, every legislator who has accepted money directly from oil companies or from major oil industry Political Action Committees (PACs) in the last six years receives an oil money badge on their page. Legislators who accepted oil money in the recent election cycle, which is the last two years for the Assembly and the last four years for the Senate, have -5% deducted from their overall environmental score.
It’s imperative that our elected leaders reject the money and influence of this industry and instead hold Big Oil accountable for their role in creating the climate crisis.
Oil Money Free Badges
For the first time this year, every legislator who has refused to take oil money within the last six years will receive this Oil Money Free badge on their page to applaud them for resisting the influence of this extractive, exploitative industry power.
Other Legislator Badges
Members of the Climate Action Caucus are environmental champions fighting for bold policy change to address the climate crisis who deserve special recognition for their leadership in 2023.
Members of the Polluter Caucus have refused to support — and often even actively worked against — climate policies. These legislators are responsible for delaying climate progress in 2023.
This badge represents legislators who EnviroVoters has named to the Climate Action Caucus in previous years’ Scorecards and continue to lead as climate champions.
These are the newly elected legislators who, in their first year in office, went above and beyond by voting in favor of every pro-environmental bill in the California Environmental Scorecard.
How to Use the California
Through our Scorecard, we seek to accurately reflect the impact lawmakers have on addressing environmental issues and the climate crisis so voters can better understand how well their state legislators represent their interests.
Now here is where you come in. Look up your legislators’ Scorecard — see how they voted and if they have an oil money badge. Then contact your representatives to tell them what you think of their score and why it matters to you that they vote for climate justice.
Don’t underestimate our collective power as individuals and constituents. When the people of California make their voices heard, our policies better reflect our state’s priorities.