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Virginia LCV: Governor Glenn Youngkin receives D- grade on environmental work in state

Crystal Graham
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The Virginia League of Conservation Voters released its annual scorecard ranking all members of the legislature based on their votes on environmental issues, and Virginia’s Governor Glenn Youngkin received a nearly failing grade, a D-.

The grade was a slight improvement over his F rating – due to his work on utility regulation and his inclusion of strong water quality funding in budget amendments sent down prior to the 2023 legislative session.

Youngkin’s overall grade, according to the League, reflects his repeated attacks on climate action – both at the legislature and through the regulatory process – his rejection of an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant for political reasons, some questionable appointments, bad amendments to legislation and his tilt toward embracing right-wing election conspiracy theories that undermine our democracy.

“With elections for all 140 seats in the General Assembly on the ballot this fall, 2023 is an incredibly important year for the future of environmental protection in Virginia,” said Michael Town, executive director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters. “Voters will have the choice between Governor Youngkin’s reckless, harmful policies or continuing on the path to cleaner air and a clean energy future, and our scorecard shows Virginians exactly what’s at stake, while making sure that lawmakers keep our issues top-of-mind.”

Virginia LCV recognized three lawmakers for their individual leadership this year on different environmental issues. These went to Senator Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta), Senator Ghazala Hashmi (D-Richmond) and former Senator, now Congresswoman, Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond).

“We are grateful that the Conservation Majority in the State Senate again held the line on the gains we’ve made, but we know we need to go further to protect our environment for the next generation,” said Town.

2023 Legislative Heroes

Sixty-four lawmakers, 21 senators and 43 delegates, scored a perfect 100-percent score in 2023, earning the designation of “Legislative Hero” for voting alongside Virginia LCV’s position on top conservation priorities every time this year.

  • Sen. George Barker
  • Sen. John Bell
  • Sen. Jennifer Boysko
  • Sen. Creigh Deeds
  • Sen. Adam Ebbin
  • Sen. John Edwards
  • Sen. Barbara Favola
  • Sen. Ghazala Hashmi
  • Sen. Janet Howell
  • Sen. Lynwood Lewis
  • Sen. Mamie Locke
  • Sen. Louise Lucas
  • Sen. Dave Marsden
  • Sen. Monty Mason
  • Sen. Jennifer McClellan
  • Sen. Jeremy McPike
  • Sen. Joe Morrissey
  • Sen. Chap Petersen
  • Sen. Aaron Rouse
  • Sen. Lionell Spruill
  • Sen. Scott Surovell
  • Del. Dawn Adams
  • Del. Lamont Bagby
  • Del. Elizabeth Bennett-Parker
  • Del. Jeffrey Bourne
  • Del. David Bulova
  • Del. Betsy Carr
  • Del. Nadarius Clark
  • Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler
  • Del. Karrie Delaney
  • Del. Eileen Filler-Corn
  • Del. Wendy Gooditis
  • Del. Elizabeth Guzman
  • Del. Charniele Herring
  • Del. Patrick Hope
  • Del. Sally Hudson
  • Del. Clint Jenkins
  • Del. Kaye Kory
  • Del. Paul Krizek
  • Del. Alfonso Lopez
  • Del. Michelle Maldonado
  • Del. Delores McQuinn
  • Del. Michael Mullin
  • Del. Candi Mundon King
  • Del. Kathleen Murphy
  • Del. Ken Plum
  • Del. Cia Price
  • Del. Sam Rasoul
  • Del. David Reid
  • Del. Danica Roem
  • Del. Holly Siebold
  • Del. Briana Sewell
  • Del. Irene Shin
  • Del. Mark Sickles
  • Del. Mark Simon
  • Del. Shelly Simonds
  • Del. Suhas Subramanyam
  • Del. Rip Sullivan
  • Del. Luke Torian
  • Del. Kathy Tran
  • Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg
  • Del. Jeion Ward
  • Del. Vivian Watts
  • Del. Rodney Willett

2023 Legislative Leaders

Another six lawmakers – one senator and five delegates – earned scores between 75 and 99 percent, earning the designation of “Legislative Leader” for their prioritization of key conservation issues.

  • Del. Cliff Hayes (95 percent)
  • Del. Dan Helmer (94 percent)
  • Del. Don Scott (94 percent)
  • Del. Jackie Glass (94 percent)
  • Del. Angelia Williams Graves (94 percent)
  • Sen. Dick Saslaw (85 percent)

The full 2023 Scorecard can be viewed and downloaded here.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.