The Sierra Club and National Council of La Raza (NCLR) announced a new national survey on Aug. 1, finding that nearly 90% of Latino voters favor clean energy over fossil fuels. The national poll surveyed 1,131 Latino registered voters across the country on a number of public health, environmental and energy issues, and found overwhelming support for clean energy innovation, protecting public lands and parks, and cleaning up toxic pollution.
“The Sierra Club is encouraged and energized to hear that Latino voters not only see the importance of environmental and public health protections, but that they are also willing to take action to help build a healthier economy, nation, and future with clean energy,” said Javier Sierra, Sierra Club bilingual media strategist. “It’s time for our nation’s leaders to catch up and usher in a clean-energy economy that provides good jobs and healthy families.”
“The findings from this survey amplify what NCLR has been hearing at the community level from Latinos throughout the country: quality jobs, quality air and water, and quality of life are goals that can and should be achieved simultaneously,” said Eric Rodriguez, vice president of the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at NCLR. “And working with the Sierra Club and other partners, we look forward to putting these priorities into action in order to not only achieve employment opportunities for Latinos in the clean-jobs sector, but also create a healthier environment for all Americans.”
The results of the 2012 “Latinos and the Environment” survey show that Latino voters across the country strongly support clean energy, are very concerned about the public-health effects of fossil-fuel production and use, believe that global climate change is happening, and want to protect the nation’s public lands.
Pollution of our air and water resources is still the top environmental concern for Latino voters nationwide, with 61% saying it is among the top two environmental issues for them and their families. Since 2008, concern about air and water pollution and toxic waste sites has grown by 10 percentage points.
The Latino population clearly favors clean energy over dirty fossil fuels, and 83% agree that “coal plants and oil refineries are a thing of the past. We need to look toward the future and use more energy from clean sources.”
Nearly 9-in-10 (87%) Latino voters, with all wages and benefits equal, would prefer to work in the clean -energy industry rather than at a fossil-fuel company or oil refinery.
Of those polled, 86% prefer that the government invest in clean, renewable energy like solar and wind, while just 11% of Latinos prefer investments in fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas.
More than three-fourths (77%) of Latino voters believe that global climate change is already happening, while another 15% say it will happen in the future. By comparison, about half (52%) of all Americans say that the effects of global warming have already begun, according to a Gallup poll conducted in March.
More than 9-in-10 (92%) Latino voters agree that they “have a moral responsibility to take care of God’s creations on this earth–the wilderness and forests, the oceans, lakes, and rivers.”
More than 9-in-10 Latino voters (94%) say outdoor activities such as fishing, picnics, camping, and visiting national parks and monuments are important to them and their families. Nearly 7-in-10 (69%) Latino voters say they would support the president designating more public land as national monuments.
More than 7-in-10 (72%) Latino voters agree that “environmental regulations protect our health and our families by lowering toxic levels of mercury, arsenic, carbon dioxide and other life-threatening pollution in our air and water.”
An overwhelming majority (94%) of Latino voters believe that they and their families can help curb toxic air and water pollution by conserving energy.
The poll was conducted by Myers Research and Strategic Services and focus group data were provided by Project New America. To read the executive summary or find the full poll results, visit www.sierraclub.org/ecocentro/survey.