New polls show Latinos and African Americans support bipartisan climate and clean energy jobs bill

And are more likely to vote for Senate candidate who supports action

Poll after poll shows that the general public STILL favors the transition to clean energy.  Two new polls show that the majority of African Americans and Latinos believe that switching to clean energy will create jobs and keep the economy strong while also combating climate change.  CAP Energy Opportunity intern Sarah Collins has the story.

Not only do majorities of the polled groups feel that global warming is a serious problem that needs addressing, but majorities of both Latino and African American participants also say they will vote on climate in 2010.  African Americans were polled in Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, and South Carolina, while Latinos were polled in Colorado, Florida, and Nevada – all key states in the upcoming 2010 midterm elections.

On April 15th, the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change (NLCCC) and the Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change (CEAACC), a project of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, held a joint briefing at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center to release new findings in the report “Results of Multi-state Opinion Polls of African American and Latino Communities.”

Of the total 900 Latinos polled, findings include:

  • Overwhelming majorities of Latino voters in Florida (80%), Nevada (67%) and Colorado (58%) say they are more likely to vote for a U.S. Senate candidate that supports proposals for fighting global warming. Virtually no one is less likely.
  • About three out of four Latino voters in Florida (76%) and Nevada (74%), and about two out of three voters in Colorado (64%), consider global warming very or somewhat serious. Three out of four Latino voters in each state say Congress should take action now.
  • By about three to one, Latino voters in these states say switching to a clean energy economy will mean more U.S. jobs (66% in Florida, 72% in Nevada, 64% in Colorado). Over 8 out of 10 voters in each state reject the idea that fighting global warming will hurt the American economy.

Of the total 2000 African Americans polled, findings include:

  • In every state, three out of four respondents said climate change was either very or somewhat important in choosing a U.S. Senator – and in Arkansas and South Carolina, a majority said it was very important.
  • About 9 out of 10 African Americans in all four states support government investment in green jobs, and even more support green vocational educational programs to help prepare students for green jobs.
  • 60% said they wanted the climate change bill to pass in the Senate before midterm elections

Communities of color are considered particularly vulnerable to climate change because they have fewer available institutional resources to adapt.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed endangerment finding, from April 2009, explains:

Within settlements experiencing climate change stressors, certain parts of the population may be especially vulnerable based on their circumstances.  These include the poor, the elderly, the very young, those already in poor health, the disabled, those living alone, those with limited rights and power (such as recent immigrants with limited English skills), and/or indigenous populations dependent on one or a few resources.

In response to these inequities, the Commission recommends that, in order to ensure that the needs of colored communities are address in climate legislation, we must “addressing the impacts of climate change on the most impacted and disadvantaged communities, promote green jobs and economic opportunity, and ensure the protection of low-income communities.”  Further recommendations, as outlined by the NLCCC, involve providing consumer relief to vulnerable families to offset the loss of purchasing power, expanding employment and training to prepare for the clean energy economy, and reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by increasing transportation options.

These polls underscore other recent survey research findings: that, even faced with conservative and mainstream media attacks on climate science, Americans still support comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation.  As Frank M. Stewart, President and COO of American Association of Blacks in Energy and Member of the Commission, noted in his opening remarks at the briefing, “climate change is both immediate and important.”

For these reasons and many more, Congress must act in 2010 to create jobs, cut carbon pollution, and speed the transition to a clean energy economy.

JR:  I’d add that pretty much every major poll in the past six months makes clear that the public supports climate and energy legislation because it achieves multiple benefits, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions:

3 Responses to New polls show Latinos and African Americans support bipartisan climate and clean energy jobs bill

  1. gezzmo says:

    I think the benefits of Green jos can be significant if the proposals are done in a balanced , measured manner.

  2. Dan B says:

    My last post has not appeared. Here’s another try.

    There are 60 languages spoken in my neighborhood. My nearest neighbors are Black, African, Asian, with a few Northern European whites. They’re all supportive of clean green jobs in efficiency and the “cool” renewable energy technologies. When we’re talking about these solutions they’ll share their concerns that the media hasn’t informed us about the real dangers of climate change.

    The biggest hurdle they face to training in renewable energy and adoption is access to funding and/or loans. If they could cut their energy bills, and the energy bills of their clients by 10% (many neighbors are in construction and would love to add to their professional resumes), make their homes and businesses more comfortable, and add some new tech gizmos they’d be all over it.

    Unfortunately most politicians at the state level see only economic downturn and shortages. My neighbors are even aware that the Chinese are planning to eat our lunch. We’d all like to purchase and install mostly American made renewable energy and high-efficiency products. Until the “shortage” mindset is overcome at the state level we’ll be sittin’ around waitin’.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Earlier today I posted a comment pointing out

    [JR: First, you claimed I wrote the piece. Second, you misquoted it in order to attack it. Third, you didn’t post your name. Three strikes.]