Via the NRDC Action Fund, good news regarding the 2012 U.S. election:
WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, November 7th leading environmental groups stood together at the National Press Club to highlight the numerous environmental champions who were elected to Congress because they strongly support investing in clean energy and protecting the environment and public health safeguards. The groups also released election polling which shows Americans strongly support candidates who will work to move the country forward on energy and climate policies while creating jobs and reducing pollution. The outcome of the election and the polling results show voters didn’t buy the millions of dollars worth of ads from dirty polluters.
“This election was supposed to be about wealthy Big Oil-backed special interests spending unprecedented resources to wipe pro-environment candidates off the map. But voters chose a different course – re-electing President Obama and sending environmental champions to Congress to confront the climate crisis and keep our nation moving forward towards a clean energy future,” said Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters President.
The new poll by the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research was conducted nationally November 4th-6th and surveyed 1002 voters in 11 battleground states. Among the topline findings of the poll are:
- The fossil fuel industry and its allies in Congress spent millions of dollars attacking the President on the Keystone pipeline, Solyndra, and as being anti-coal. The attacks did not work–across all of the battleground states in this survey, the president won 51 – 47 percent;
- The message on energy from the fossil fuel industry and its allies in Congress did not work. It was cited by just 14 percent of voters as the best reason to vote against President Obama. And it ranked last among people who voted for Romney and last in the Midwest—where it was heavily focused against the President;
- President Obama and Democrats retain more credibility on energy than Republicans. Voters believe Obama will do a better job on energy than Romney by a 7 point margin, 51-44 percent. And they think Democrats will do a better job on this issue than Republicans by a 50 – 43 percent margin;
- Overwhelming Support for Renewable Energy: Nearly 2 in 3 voters, 64 percent, say they have a favorable impression of renewable energy, compared to only 13 percent who say they have an unfavorable impression. This strength of support crosses demographic and partisan lines, with a wide variety of voters giving renewables high marks. Voters also favor increasing wind power by a 71 – 9 percent margin, and favor increasing solar power by a 78 – 5 percent margin;
- Voters are ready for the country to invest in renewable even if they have to pay more: By a 54 – 39 percent margin, voters side with an argument that favors investing in clean energy companies through tax credits over an argument that suggests the government should not be picking winners and losers in energy. By a 56 – 39 percent margin they also say they are willing to pay a few dollars extra on their electricity bills for renewable energy; and
- Voters give the EPA an impressive 50 – 27 percent favorable/unfavorable rating, including a 44 – 30 percent rating with Independents.
The poll memo can be found here: Battleground Polling Memo
“Polluters spent hundreds of millions of dollars and have nothing to show for it today,” said Heather Taylor-Miesle, NRDC Action Fund Director. “Our polling very clearly shows that voters didn’t buy what the polluters were selling. This is a decided issue. The public stands with us from clean energy to addressing climate change. This election and our polling indicate a mandate from the American people on the environment and public health. Now is the time act.”
The 2012 election cycle also saw unprecedented spending from dirty energy groups. According to the Center for American Progress Action Fund:
- Outside polluter-backed groups and those who promoted a dirty energy agenda spent over $270 million on television ads in the last two months of the 2012 election cycle, including over $31 million spent on energy-related ads;
- This includes over $109 million spent in congressional races with $21.7 million on energy-specific ads;
- Polluter-linked groups and their allies spent over $60 million in Senate races since September; and
- These same groups spent approximately $49.7 million in House races, with $12.9 million spent on energy-related ads.
“We did it. Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars the fossil fuel industry dumped into this election to elect Mitt Romney, we proved that corporations are, in fact, not people. Sierra Club and our 1.4 million members and supporters congratulate President Obama on his hard-fought victory, and we look forward to working with him to build on the historic progress our nation has already achieved as a global clean energy leader.” — Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director.
“The environment won and polluting industries lost; there is no clearer way to state it,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, President of the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. “When faced with a choice between a clean energy future where our air, water, lands and wildlife are protected and more of the same dirty energy policies, not even the millions spent by polluting industries could sway Americans to their side. But the biggest winners last night are the generations yet to come as Americans overwhelmingly chose to leave them a cleaner, better world in which to live.”
Jeremy Symons, Senior Advisor to National Wildlife Federation Action Fund added, “These elections have opened a window of opportunity to realign environmental politics and revive bipartisan cooperation to tackle the conservation issues facing America. As GOP leaders look for ways to broaden their appeal, we invite them to return to the party’s Teddy Roosevelt roots and offer a vision of Republican environmental leadership that connects with the strong conservation values of voters.
“This is the second presidential election in a row where the public has rejected Big Oil’s dirty energy agenda. America is starting to understand that Sandy’s October Surprise will increasingly become less of a surprise, and that it’s time to slash global warming pollution and repower America with clean energy,” said Margie Alt, Executive Director, Environment America.
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