MISSOURI – As the Gulf Coast oil disaster continues to unfold, the League of Conservation Voters released a new poll by the Benenson Strategy Group today showing overwhelming public support in Missouri for comprehensive energy legislation that goes beyond simply making BP pay for the damage the company has done. The Missouri poll also found that the oil spill is intensifying the public’s desire for clean energy investments and increased regulation on corporate polluters. Additionally, the poll shows that comprehensive energy legislation can be a powerful election issue, with high support among key electoral groups.
“This poll makes crystal clear that the Gulf Coast disaster is the final straw for Missouri voters when it comes to allowing corporate polluters to dictate our energy policies,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski. “Now, more than ever, it is clear that our dependence on oil – be it from hostile nations or friendly coasts – hurts our economy, threatens our security and harms our environment. Senators Bond and McCaskill must work to deliver comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year that prevents future energy disasters, makes polluters pay their fair share and creates a thriving clean energy economy.”
Among the topline findings of the poll are:
· Likely voters in Missouri’s 2010 elections overwhelmingly support stronger regulations on corporate polluters and increased investment in clean energy.
o 62% say the federal government should regulate corporate polluters more than it currently does, while just 18% say there should be less regulation and 20% say regulation should stay the same.
o 59% say the federal government should be investing more than it currently invests in clean energy sources, while just 21% say they should be investing less and 20% say investment should stay the same.
· In the wake of the oil spill, a majority of voters believe that Congress needs to do more than just make BP pay. When asked which they agree with more:
o 51% overall and 54% of Independents say: “BP must pay for the damage they’ve done. But our addiction to oil threatens our security and we need more than a band-aid for that. Senators need to pass real reforms to hold polluters accountable and invest in clean American energy.”
o 43% overall and just 39% of Independents agree that: “We need to ensure that BP pays every last dime of the damages they’ve caused, but beyond that, Senators should focus on our economy and jobs and they’d be wrong to use this tragedy to pass some huge new Washington job-killing energy tax.”
· Consequently, there is a wide margin of support for a comprehensive energy and climate bill. When asked about “an energy and climate bill that will limit pollution, invest in domestic energy sources and encourage companies to use and develop clean energy. It would do this in part by charging energy companies for carbon pollution in electricity or fuels like gas:”
o 55% of Missouri voters support the bill and 40% oppose it.
o A majority of Independents support the bill.
Click here to view the full poll memo: http://www.lcv.org/policy/2023b-league-of-conservation-voters-mo-memofin2-1.pdf