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Overwhelming majorities of voters in western states support pro-conservation policies. Wildfires and droughts are especially salient concerns throughout the region. The 2022 poll surveyed registered voters in eight western states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Majorities now say that inadequate water supplies (70%, up 30 points since 2011), the loss of natural areas (55%, +19 since 2011), the loss of habitat for fish and wildlife (55%, +17 since 2011), pollution of rivers, lakes, and streams (54%, +12 since 2011), and climate change (52%, +25 since 2011) are “extremely” or “very” serious problems in their state. Western voters are most acutely concerned about droughts and reduced snowpack (59% “very” concerned) and more frequent and severe wildfires (52% “very” concerned). Nearly three-quarters of western voters (74%) say that drought is an “extremely” or “very” serious problem in their state, an increase of 22 points since 2016. For wildfires, 91% say that “uncontrollable wildfires that threaten homes and property” are a serious problem in their state - an increase of 14 points since 2016.
This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new national polling on pollution in the manufacturing sector, investments in clean energy jobs and development, plastic pollution, and climate as a legislative priority + a major new report on environmental attitudes in western states.
A June 2021 poll found that 57% of Montana voters support the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan creating a national path to achieving 100 percent clean electricity by 2035. However, the support is very polarized: 95% of Democrats said they’re supportive, along with 53% of Independents, but just 32% of Republicans. Voters showed similar levels of support when asked about green investments, jobs, and consumer incentives associated with the American Jobs Plan.