Mixed Environmental Grades for Minnesota’s Legislators

Media Contacts
Timothy Schaefer

Klobuchar, McCollum and Ellison Shine, While Others Fall Behind

Environment Minnesota

Minneapolis (Dec. 7, 2017) —  Today, Environment Minnesota released its federal scorecard evaluating how the Minnesota congressional delegation has voted when it comes to supporting clean air, clean water and other environmental protections. Absences count against a member’s score. Director Tim Schaefer released the following statement:

“The country is terribly polarized these days on all sorts of issues, including the need to protect our environment. It shouldn’t be this way and it didn’t used to be. I’m pleased to say that the Minnesota delegation, regardless of party affiliation, is mostly working together when it comes to our air and water.

“Overall, the U.S. Senate scored only 48% and the U.S. House of Representatives scored 45%, which does not bode well for our air or water.  The two senators from Minnesota, however, scored 100% and our house members averaged 53%. So MN is a bit above the national average, but with a lot of room for improvement.

“We in Minnesota can be proud that 4 members from both branches voted with us 100% of the time, which means our planet and our families are represented by a lot of real environmental champs. Real standouts from our delegation were Representatives Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum, who recently spoke out against Congress’ misguided efforts to open up the Boundary Waters to sulfide mines.

We also had one member of Congress who was occasionally willing to part with his Republican colleagues to protect the environment.  Representative Erik Paulsen voted with Rep. Ellison and Rep. McCollum to protect the Boundary Waters, an encouraging break from his colleagues’ disappointing voting records.

But, unfortunately Minnesota also had 4 members, including Rep. Paulsen, who voted with us less than 25% of the time: Rep. Colin Peterson, Rep Jason Lewis, Rep. Tom Emmer and Rep. Paulsen have consistently voted to weaken or remove important protections for our air and water.

“Overall, the Minnesota delegation is a mixed bag when it comes to the environment. Here’s hoping our Congressmembers uniformly start to show the kind of strong and effective leadership we need to reflect the core environmental values so many of us share.”


Environment Minnesota is a statewide citizen based environmental advocacy organization working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.