Public Resource
Environmental Polling Roundup - March 22nd, 2024
David Gold, Environmental Polling Consortium

This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including newly released polling on the Sackett v. EPA decision and clean water protections, new polling on oil and gas accountability, and a new analysis on the gap between Americans’ interest in climate activism and their actual behaviors.



Walton Family Foundation + Morning Consult
Voters are largely unaware that the Supreme Court weakened the Clean Water Act, and overwhelmingly want to restore protections for wetlands and waterways; the most effective messaging on the topic emphasizes how wetland protections help to ensure access to clean and safe water [Release with link to deck]

Fossil Free Media + Data for Progress
Voters distrust fossil fuel companies and the politicians that they fund, and want to see fossil fuel companies held accountable for their pollution [ArticleCrosstabs]

Yale + GMU
There is a large gap between people’s interest in climate activism and their self-reported actions; social norms are linked with increased follow-through [Article]



The Supreme Court’s weakening of the Clean Water Act is a potentially animating issue, but people aren’t hearing about it. Clean water regularly polls as the single most important environmental priority for the American public and, in the few polls that we’ve seen test reactions to the Sackett v. EPA decision on wetlands protections, the Supreme Court’s decision to weaken the Clean Water Act is deeply unpopular. Newly released polling from the Walton Family Foundation and Morning Consult finds that voters across party lines are overwhelmingly concerned about the decision and want to see new legislation to remedy it, but few are hearing about it. This signals an opportunity for advocates to mobilize a large, cross-partisan coalition of voters around issues of clean water protection by educating the public about the Supreme Court’s actions.

Voters’ distrust of oil and gas companies extends to the politicians that they fund. Polls consistently show that voters distrust the fossil fuel industry and are angry about both the industry’s dangerous pollution and its price-gouging of consumers. New polling by Fossil Free Media and Data for Progress finds that voters also react negatively to politicians who are associated with the oil and gas industry, with most voters saying that they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who receives political contributions from fossil fuel companies or their CEOs. And as for the presidential race, the poll finds that key voting groups that President Biden is underperforming with - including young voters and voters of color - want him to make pollution from the fossil fuel industry more of a priority this year. 


[Clean Water + Agriculture] 86% of voters agree that farmers should be subject to clean water requirements to help protect downstream water quality [Walton Family Foundation + Morning Consult]
[Clean Water + Supreme Court] 80% of voters are concerned that the Supreme Court narrowed the scope of the Clean Water Act [Walton Family Foundation + Morning Consult]

[Clean Water + Supreme Court] 72% voters support a new law to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision and fully restore the previous level of protection for wetlands and waterways [Walton Family Foundation + Morning Consult

[Oil + Gas Accountability] 84% of voters are concerned about oil and gas companies making large profits while consumers face rising energy bills [Fossil Free Media + Data for Progress]
[Oil + Gas Accountability] 78% of voters agree that “oil and gas companies that knew about the polluting impact of burning fossil fuels, but that intentionally misled the public about it, should be held accountable” [Fossil Free Media + Data for Progress]

[Oil + Gas Accountability] 53% of voters would be less likely to vote for a candidate who accepted campaign donations from and oil gas companies or oil and gas CEOs, while only 12% would be more likely to vote for the candidate [Fossil Free Media + Data for Progress]