Tree Huggers

America’s Greenest Politicians, from Barbara Boxer to John Kerry

In anticipation of Newsweek’s fourth consecutive Green Rankings of the most eco-friendly companies, The Daily Beast crunches the numbers to find out which American legislators can call themselves kindest to the environment.

AP Photo (4)

AP Photo (4)

America's Greenest Politicians

Next week, Newsweek will reveal its fourth annual Green Rankings. First, however, The Daily Beast is ranking the greenest legislators across America—to identify the ecofriendly politicians to parallel our ecofriendly companies.

To find the greenest members of Congress, we started with the most recent annual scoring of legislators’ environmental records from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), homing in on the nearly 100 electeds who scored a 97 out of 100 or better. Then, because money makes the political world go ’round, we looked at donations from the oil, gas, and mining industries, to see if there were any so-called green politicians taking big dollars from potential polluters. To find out who was more likely to be beholden to environmental concerns, we also took into account donations from environmental policy and alternate energy interests, more likely to push for support for green legislation. These donation dollars were calculated as a percentage of each politician’s total donations over the most recent term-period (six years for senators, two years for representatives), with data from the Center for Responsive Politics and Maplight. Finally, we added bonus points for politicians who are members of environmental caucuses.

Clark Merrefield

The Green Rankings were created in 2009 with ASAP Media, a New York City media development firm founded by editors Peter W. Bernstein ([email protected]) and Annalyn Swan ([email protected]). It specializes in creating magazine, book, and online content.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

20. Barbara Mikulski, Senator (D), Maryland

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $4,406,285

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $0

Environmental policy donations: $14,600

Alternate energy donations: $0

Environmental caucus memberships: None

Cliff Owen / AP Photo

19. Jim Moran, Representative (D), Virginia

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $1,204,228

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $0

Environmental policy donations: $0

Alternate energy donations: $3,500

Environmental caucus memberships: House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses; Congressional International Conservation Caucus; Children’s Environmental Health Caucus

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

18. Barbara Lee, Representative (D), California

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $972,741

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $0

Environmental policy donations: $3,000

Alternate energy donations: $0

Environmental caucus memberships: House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition; House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses; House Oceans Caucus; Congressional International Conservation Caucus; Children’s Environmental Health Caucus

Susan Walsh / AP Photo

17. Dianne Feinstein, Senator (D), California

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $6,713,205

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $2,500

Environmental policy donations: $14,550

Alternate energy donations: $25,000

Environmental caucus memberships: None

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

16. Harry Reid, Senator (D), Nevada

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $22,478,171

Mining donations: $15,650

Oil and gas donations: $14,400

Environmental policy donations: $124,309

Alternate energy donations: $103,492

Environmental caucus memberships: None

Cliff Owen / AP Photo

15. John Kerry, Senator (D), Massachusetts

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $5,729,465

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $500

Environmental policy donations: $18,920

Alternate energy donations: $5,400

Environmental caucus memberships: House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses; Senate Oceans Caucus; Congressional International Conservation Caucus

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

14. Tim Bishop, Representative (D), New York

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $2,639,278

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $3,500

Environmental policy donations: $19,972

Alternate energy donations: $5,000

Environmental caucus memberships: House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses; House Oceans Caucus

Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

13. Michael Bennet, Senator (D), Colorado

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $11,683,641

Mining donations: $4,800

Oil and gas donations: $24,550

Environmental policy donations: $160,161

Alternate energy donations: $21,700

Environmental caucus memberships: Congressional International Conservation Caucus

Harry Hamburg / AP Photo

12. Richard Blumenthal, Senator (D), Connecticut

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $6,616,122

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $6,500

Environmental policy donations: $67,306

Alternate energy donations: $500

Environmental caucus memberships: Senate Oceans Caucus

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

11. Tammy Baldwin, Representative (D), Wisconsin

LCV Score: 97

Total donations: $3,922,942

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $700

Environmental policy donations: $72,063

Alternate energy donations: $5,000

Environmental caucus memberships: House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses; Congressional International Conservation Caucus; Children’s Environmental Health Caucus

Lynne Sladky / AP Photo

10. Donna Edwards, Representative (D), Maryland

LCV Score: 97

Total donations: $696,107

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $0

Environmental policy donations: $13,200

Alternate energy donations: $0

Environmental caucus memberships: House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

9. Gerry Connolly, Representative (D), Virginia

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $2,009,221

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $0

Environmental policy donations: $14,191

Alternate energy donations: $0

Environmental caucus memberships: House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition

AP Photo

8. Lynn Woolsey, Representative (D), California

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $265,499

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $0

Environmental policy donations: $2,250

Alternate energy donations: $0

Environmental caucus memberships: House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition; House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses; House Oceans Caucus

Larry French / AP Photo

7. Sheldon Whitehouse, Senator (D), Rhode Island

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $6,982,368

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $3,250

Environmental policy donations: $83,860

Alternate energy donations: $1,000

Environmental caucus memberships: House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses; Senate Oceans Caucus; Congressional International Conservation Caucus

AP Photo

6. Sam Farr, Representative (D), California

LCV Score: 97

Total donations: $689,236

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $0

Environmental policy donations: $17,225

Alternate energy donations: $0

Environmental caucus memberships: House Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition; House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses; House Oceans Caucus; Congressional International Conservation Caucus

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

5. Barbara Boxer, Senator (D), California

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $17,269,674

Mining donations: $5,050

Oil and gas donations: $1,500

Environmental policy donations: $247,492

Alternate energy donations: $48,099

Environmental caucus memberships: Senate Oceans Caucus

Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

4. Mark Udall, Senator (D), Colorado

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $11,374,594

Mining donations: $13,800

Oil and gas donations: $27,760

Environmental policy donations: $300,697

Alternate energy donations: $41,925

Environmental caucus memberships: House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses; Congressional International Conservation Caucus

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

3. Jeff Merkley, Senator (D), Oregon

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $6,069,246

Mining donations: $250

Oil and gas donations: $1,000

Environmental policy donations: $87,445

Alternate energy donations: $10,650

Environmental caucus memberships: House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

2. Rush Holt, Representative (D), New Jersey

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $2,402,876

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $0

Environmental policy donations: $37,012

Alternate energy donations: $1,000

Environmental caucus memberships: House Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition; House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses; Congressional International Conservation Caucus; Children’s Environmental Health Caucus

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo

1. Raul Grijalva, Representative (D), Arizona

LCV Score: 100

Total donations: $1,003,489

Mining donations: $0

Oil and gas donations: $0

Environmental policy donations: $25,099

Alternate energy donations: $500

Environmental caucus memberships: House Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition; House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses; Children’s Environmental Health Caucus