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Poll: Mass. residents concerned about climate change, but more worried about health care, education & jobs
Massachusetts residents are concerned about the impacts of climate change, with majorities saying that climate impacts like heat waves, coastal flooding and more powerful storms are already or very likely to hit the state in the next five years. However fewer than half of residents (47%) list climate change as a high priority -- it trails behind worries about health care, jobs and the economy, education, taxes, and fuel costs. The new survey suggests concern over climate change has declined since a similar poll in 2019 in which 54% of residents called climate change a high priority for state government.
Majorities of MA residents support climate and energy policies including:
- Update the states' building codes to require buildings to be better protected against climate change (76%)
- Require new or renvoated buildings to be ready to charge electric vehicles (70%)
- Require new or renovated buildings to be fully electric, using no oil or natural gas (57%)
Additional analysis and data visualizations in this article from WBUR.
This post includes a roundup of climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from this week’s public polls - including a major new report on Americans’ shifting climate change attitudes from the Yale and GMU programs on climate change communication, plus fresh polling about the Build Back Better plan and how voters view climate-friendly policies in the context of rising living costs and gas prices.
This post includes a roundup of climate + environment headlines from this week’s public polls, good data points to highlight, and a full roundup including key takeaways from each poll.
- Climate Power + LCV - Investments in clean energy, climate action, and environmental justice bolster support for the reconciliation bill; the most persuasive messages focus on economic aspects including how the bill will lower costs for households (Slide Deck)
- Climate Power + Data for Progress - Voters support a range of climate-related proposals that were left out of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, especially clean electricity incentives, investments in energy efficiency, and investments in solar and wind (Release, Memo, Topline)
- POLITICO + Morning Consult - Voters continue to back the bipartisan infrastructure bill, especially investments in roads, bridges, and water infrastructure; voters are more split on the reconciliation package, but overwhelmingly support expanded home care for the elderly and disabled (Topline, Crosstabs)
- Data for Progress - Voters think that oil and gas companies have too much power, especially after learning about comments made by a senior Exxon lobbyist; “oil and gas companies” are a more compelling villain than “fossil fuel companies” (Release, Topline)
- Yale Program on Climate Change Communication + George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication - Petition signing is the most appealing ask to get voters involved in climate advocacy, and there is clear interest in community preparedness groups (Summary, Full Report)
Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm went live for a special 30-minute “Ask me Anything” (AMA) exclusively for the Climate Advocacy Lab community. The US Department of Energy will be critical to the fight to stop climate change. Listen as community members ask questions of USDOE Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. Our goal with this event is to get information to the field about the priorities of the US DOE and to uncover opportunities for the field to have more impact on these issues.
- 60% of voters said they support the White House’s American Jobs Plan, including 84% of Democrats, 51% of independent voters and 35% of Republicans.
- At least three-quarters of voters support the plans to devote $18 billion to modernize veterans’ hospitals; $115 billion to modernize highways, roads and streets; and $400 billion to improve caregiving for aging and disabled individuals.
- 76% of Democrats said they would support spending $174 billion to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, including expanding the country’s EV charging network, while just 28% of Republicans said the same.
Survey of 500 Texans in the immediate aftermath of the extreme cold weather and resulting power outages found:
- Respondents expressed concern about extreme cold (78%), power outages caused by weather events (83%), and access to clean drinking water (76%). Concern spanned community types, and was highest (80%) among rural respondents.
- 79% say it should be a priority for the U.S. to pass legislation to address climate change
- Majorities across Texas support a wide range of legislative measures to prevent future power outages, including: increasing use of clean energy (77%), improving energy efficiency (92%), increasing existing energy storage capabilities (88%), making power sources more resilient to extreme weater (93%), and modernizing the U.S. power grid more broadly (83%).
This was a national survey of 1000 voters nationally on climate. This survey polled members on a myriad of different topic areas from clean energy, domestic energy production, oresidential ballot test, political environment to climate change.
In this webinar, the Lab team is joined by the Regulatory Assistance Project to explore recommendations from the new report Energy Infrastructure: Sources of Inequities and Policy Solutions for Improving Community Health and Wellbeing.
In addition to the report, participants also learn from advocates across the country fighting for an equitable clean energy future. Contributing speakers shared their reflections and lessons learned from a variety of perspectives on what it takes to achieve energy equity, including how they're financing low-income solar, how they're growing solar through state-level policy, and how to work in strong coalition.
Contributing speakers include: Donna Brutkoski, Communications Associate, Regulatory Assistance Project; Yesenia Rivera, Director of Energy Equity and Inclusion, Solar United Neighbors; and Jacqueline Hutchinson, Vice President of Operations, People’s Community Action Corporation.
- 79% of voters are more likely to support a lawmaker who supports policies that encourage renewabl energy options (such as wind, solar, and waste to energy technologies), compared to 51% of voters who are more likely to support a lawmaker who supports policies that encourage the development of more fossil fuel energy, such as coal and oil.
- Voters are most likely (85%) to support a lawmaker who supports legislation that would provide additional ways for home or business owners to finance energy upgrades, such as improved insulation, lighting, or windows.
- 77% of voters are more likely to support a lawmaker who wants to change North Carolina's regulatory policy to allow for more competition and consumer choice.
- A pluarility of voters (38%) see climate change as a "serious problem" and think "immediate action" is necessary. An addiitonal 22% support "some action."
- 60% of voters recognize that the effects of climate change "have already begun to happen" and 59% understand climate change is "mainly the result of manmade pollution."