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For Immediate Release, December 13, 2023

Contact:  Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121, bretthartl@centeractionfund.org

All Republican Presidential Candidates Get Failing Grades on Environment

Trump, Ramaswamy at Bottom; Christie Scores Higher Than Manchin

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund released an environmental scorecard today evaluating six presidential candidates seeking to defeat President Biden in 2024. The candidates were judged using 10 criteria related to the climate crisis, fossil fuel development on public lands, clean air, clean water and endangered species.

Based on his past record, campaign promises and unhinged rhetoric about being a dictator with the promise that “we’re drilling, drilling, drilling,” Donald Trump received 0 out of 10, or F−−−. Vivek Ramasamy, who models himself after Trump, received the same score. Gov. Ron DeSantis scored second worst, with 2 out of 10, or F−−. Ambassador Nikki Haley scored slightly higher, 3 out of 10.

Sen. Joe Manchin, an almost inevitable spoiler in 2024 whose candidacy would only serve to elect a Republican, scored a 4 out of 10, for an F− grade, while Gov. Chris Christie received the highest score: 5 out of 10, a straight F. No candidate mustered 6 out of 10, or a D grade.

“A frightening hostility to the environment marks every Republican presidential candidate in 2024, and it’s terrifying that Trump is pushing an even more fringe agenda today than four years ago,” said Brett Hartl, national political director at the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund. “A Republican president in 2025 would end meaningful efforts to address the climate crisis in the critical years before 2030, when we need to be rapidly moving toward a renewable energy future. The stakes and consequences couldn’t be higher.”

In addition to very weak positions on the climate crisis, all six candidates share virtually the same desire to weaken the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to protect clean water and clean air. With the exception of Christie, all candidates oppose robust protections for threatened and endangered species.

As the owner of a coal company, Sen. Manchin has consistently opposed virtually all efforts by the EPA and Department of the Interior to better address pollution and the environmental damage from coal mining. Combined with his successful sabotage of the Build Back Better Act, weakening of the National Environmental Policy Act, and the rubber-stamping of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Manchin’s environmental score is weaker than Christie’s.

“A Manchin presidency would be worse for the environment than that of George W. Bush and only marginally better than having Trump, Haley or DeSantis in office,” said Hartl. “At the end of his career, it’s clear Manchin only cares about satisfying his ego and enriching himself.”

The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund is a national nonprofit organization that advocates for legislation and legislators that will advance a progressive environmental agenda. The Action Fund is the 501(c)(4) affiliate of the Center for Biological Diversity, but these organizations’ names are not interchangeable. This news release is from the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, not the Center for Biological Diversity.