Public Resource

Environmental Polling Roundup - May 6th, 2022

David Gold, Environmental Polling Consortium
05-06-2022

This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new polling on policies to promote clean energy, clean energy investments as part of potential new economic legislation in Congress, and Americans’ views on whether companies and brands should speak out about climate change.

 

 

HEADLINES

  • Climate Power + Data for Progress - The overwhelming majority of voters say it’s important for Congress to invest in clean energy in order to address the energy crisis, and policies to expand clean energy production have bipartisan majority support (Article, Topline)
  • Invest in America + Data for Progress - Voters support new economic legislation by a two-to-one margin when it’s framed around climate and clean energy (Article, Topline)
  • POLITICO + Morning Consult - Voters want companies and brands to speak out about climate change; young voters in particular want to see companies take public stances on climate (Topline, Crosstabs)

 

 

GOOD DATA POINTS TO HIGHLIGHT

 

 

FULL ROUNDUP

 

Climate Power + Data for Progress

The overwhelming majority of voters say it’s important for Congress to invest in clean energy in order to address the energy crisis, and policies to expand clean energy production have bipartisan majority support (Article, Topline)

 

This timely new poll on clean energy policies expands on a common poll finding: even as Americans’ views on climate change and related issues become more politically polarized, there continues to be a robust, cross-partisan consensus in favor of increasing clean energy investment.

 

For example, the poll finds that roughly three-quarters of voters favor the expansion of clean energy in the U.S. when it’s framed as investment in clean energy R&D, investment in clean energy production, or as a measure to address the current energy crisis:

  • 76% of voters (including 88% of Democrats, 79% of independent voters, and 59% of Republicans) support Congress investing in the research and development of new clean energy technologies

  • 75% of voters (including 90% of Democrats, 77% of independent voters, and 57% of Republicans) support Congress making an investment to expand clean energy production in America

  • 74% of voters (including 94% of Democrats, 74% of independent voters, and 54% of Republicans) say it’s “very” or “somewhat” important that Congress takes action to address our energy crisis by investing in clean energy

 

The poll also reveals strong hooks for clean energy and energy efficiency in the debate about how to lower rising costs for U.S. households:

  • Voters overwhelmingly support a proposal to provide financial assistance for families to make energy efficiency upgrades to their homes (79% support / 15% oppose, including a 66%-29% margin among Republican voters).

  • When informed that the Senate is “discussing a new bill to help families deal with inflation and rising energy costs through investments in clean energy production,” and that the bill includes a scaled-back version of the Build Back Better Act’s clean energy investments, voters support this proposed legislation by a two-to-one margin (58% support / 29% oppose).

 

Additionally, the poll finds that there are clear electoral benefits for Democrats to pass a climate and clean energy bill before November. Nearly half of voters (46%) say they would be more likely to vote for Democrats in November if Democrats in Congress “take action to expand clean energy production in America and address climate change,” while just 23% say that it would make them less inclined to vote for Democrats. Action on climate and clean energy is particularly important for younger voters under 45, as the clear majority (58% more likely / 16% less likely) say it would make them more likely to support Democrats in the midterm elections.

 

Invest in America + Data for Progress

Voters support new economic legislation by a two-to-one margin when it’s framed around climate and clean energy (Article, Topline)

 

The latest poll from Invest in America and Data for Progress further demonstrates that there remains a clear appetite for major economic legislation, along the lines of the Build Back Better Act, that includes investment in clean energy

 

Voters support new economic legislation by an overwhelming 75%-17% margin when it’s described as “a new bill to lower insurance premiums for people who buy healthcare on their own, invest in clean energy, and bring down the costs of prescription drugs.” 

 

As was consistently the case in polling on Build Back Better, the health care-related investments are the biggest drivers of support for the new legislative proposal. Over three-quarters of voters support provisions to increase the quality and affordability of long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities (87%), expand Medicare so that it includes hearing coverage (84%), give Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs (83%), cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin (83%), and lower health insurance premiums for people who buy health insurance on their own (79%).

 

That said, expanding clean energy is a strong rationale for new economic legislation on its own. By a nearly three-to-one margin (68% support / 23% oppose), voters support the plan’s provision to “ramp up the use of clean energy, like solar and wind power.” 

 

Additionally, when the debate over new economic legislation is reduced to arguments over whether or not to invest in clean energy, voters continue to support the proposed legislation by a two-to-one margin. Poll respondents were presented with the following two arguments, and sided more with the argument in support of the bill by a 61-%-29% margin:

  • [Supporting Argument] “We should pass this bill. Investing in clean energy like solar and wind power will create jobs, help America become energy independent, and address the growing threat of climate change.”

  • [Opposing Argument] “We should not pass this bill. These investments are another example of wasteful and unnecessary government spending that will be added to an out-of-control national debt and drive up inflation.”

 

 

POLITICO + Morning Consult

Voters want companies and brands to speak out about climate change; young voters in particular want to see companies take public stances on climate (Topline, Crosstabs)

 

The latest national tracking poll from POLITICO and Morning Consult asked voters whether they want to see companies and brands speak out on several major issues, and found that climate change is firmly in the set of issues that Americans believe companies should have public stances on. By a 63%-26% margin, voters say they support companies and brands speaking out about climate change. 

 

The poll finds that Democratic voters (85% support / 9% oppose) and Gen Z voters (79% support / 11% oppose) are particularly eager to hear companies speak out about climate change. This high level of support among Gen Z voters is consistent with other recent public polling, which has shown that the overwhelming majority of Gen Zers say it’s important to them to support brands and companies that are sustainable and environmentally friendly.