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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.
Americans overwhelmingly support updating and strengthening the methane standards and regulations. Even after being shown balanced pro and con messaging, people support touger methane regulations by a nearly 5:1 margin. Curtailing leaks and releases of methane has broad support across all major demographics, including 2-to-1 support among Republicans.