A new poll of voters in California, Oregon and Washington showed strong support for maintaining and expanding efforts across the region to account for the costs of climate pollution and invest in clean-energy sources by ensuring polluters pay when they contribute to climate change.
The findings demonstrate that even in a tough economy, voters in the region prioritize efforts to hasten the transition toward cleaner energy and tackle climate change while growing the economy.
The poll, conducted Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 by Lake Research Partners, also found strong support for proposals to create jobs by investing in making homes and businesses more energy efficient; expand investment in clean fuels, electric vehicles, bus rapid transit and commuter rail; close tax loopholes for dirty fuels; and train workers to transition from dirty industries to clean energy industries. Support for investing funds raised from pollution fees in expanding clean-energy sources beat out a proposal to invest those funds in deficit reduction.
“Partnerships between businesses, investors and government are needed to rebuild infrastructure, like water, alternative energy systems and public transportation in the wake of extreme weather events like Sandy,” says Kirsten Snow Spalding, California director of Ceres, one of the four organizations that sponsored the poll. “Infrastructure investments will create jobs here at home and ensure future generations are better prepared.” Ceres manages the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling about $10 trillion.
“Moving America to clean energy is a priority for voters and a necessity to address the growing climate crisis,” says David Foster, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “By putting a price on carbon, we can provide an incentive to companies to cut global-warming pollution and raise the funds to invest in cleaner energy, better transit and jobs that can’t be outsourced.”
“We know that critical investment in smart infrastructure and clean-energy solutions, like green building, will not only save people money and create jobs but they also help make our communities healthier, more livable and more resilient. And they’re solutions voters recognize and want,” says Dr. Jason Hartke, vice president of national policy, U.S. Green Building Council. “Building a better future for ourselves and our kids is something we can all get behind.”