The Dernogalizer

September 15, 2009

Youth Poll: Intense Support for Climate Legislation

Not that it should be any surprise that young people want climate action.

New National Youth Poll Shows Strong Support for

Comprehensive Clean Energy & Climate Plan

Youth Show Intense Interest in Senate Action on Climate, Clean Energy

(Washington, D.C.)— The Clean Energy Works campaign today released a new national poll of American youth that underscores their strong support for comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation.  The poll also reveals that youth are demanding a voice on energy and environmental issues and are paying attention to what Washington is doing on issues they view as top priorities requiring urgent action.

“The results of this poll are crystal clear,” said Joel Benenson, President of Benenson Strategy Group and pollster for the Clean Energy Works campaign.  “Younger voters are intensely passionate about energy and environmental issues, very strongly support the comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation now working its way through Congress, and are ready and willing to hold our leaders accountable for their votes on the plan.”

“Poll after poll shows that the American public strongly backs comprehensive clean energy legislation,” said Maura Cowley, Clean Energy Works campaign youth coordinator.  “This latest poll shows that America’s youth—regardless of their party affiliation—stand strongly behind the president’s clean energy agenda and are now looking to Congress for urgent action.  It’s time for the Senate to act on a clean energy and climate plan that delivers more jobs, less pollution, and greater security.”

A summary of the poll’s key findings appears below.  A full memo on the poll’s findings is available online at: http://www.bsgco.com/releases/ACES_Release.pdf

Energy Independence & Environmental Issues A Top Priority

  • After education, investing in renewable energy and protecting our environment emerge as the most important issues for youth when deciding whether or not to reelect their Senator.
  • Similarly, 68% say “investing in renewable energy to create new jobs” should be an important priority for their Senator to address and 63% say “reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil” should be (both 6+7 on 7-point scale).

Extremely Strong Support for Comprehensive Clean Energy & Climate Legislation

  • Youth show intense and widespread support for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), with 75% saying they support the bill and only 14% opposing it.
  • Support for this bill largely transcends party lines:
    • Democrats: 87% support/3% oppose
    • Independents: 76% support/14% oppose
    • Republicans: 58% support/30% oppose

Senator’s Vote on ACES Would Be Meaningful Factor in Re-election

  • About two-thirds will reward Senators who vote in favor of the bill and make Senators pay for a “no” vote.
    • 69% say they would be more likely to re-elect their Senator if he or she votes for the bill (just 19% would be less likely to re-elect).
    • 65% say they would be less likely to re-elect a Senator who votes against it (just 22% would be more likely).
  • Independents and even Republicans would punish a “no” vote:
    • 75% of Democrats would be less likely to re-elect a Senator who voted against the bill.
    • 66% of Independents would be less likely to re-elect.
    • 48% of Republicans would be less likely to re-elect.
  • Youth are vehement about holding their Senators accountable for campaign promises they made to support Obama’s plan to pass clean energy legislation, with 89% agreeing that “if a U.S. Senator promised in last year’s election to support President Obama’s plan to pass clean energy laws that create jobs and address climate change, he or she should be held to that promise now.”

The Benenson Strategy Group conducted 601 interviews nationwide with registered voters age 18-29 who are likely to vote in the 2010 U.S. Congressional elections.  All interviews were conducted between August 25-29, 2009 by telephone, using a sample of registered voters.  The total data set has a margin of error of ± 4.00% at the 95% confidence level, and it is larger among subgroups.

A full memo on the poll’s findings is available online at:
http://www.bsgco.com/releases/ACES_Release.pdf
About Clean Energy Works

Clean Energy Works is an unprecedented grassroots coalition of more than 65 faith, labor, veterans, environmental, sportsmen, farm, business, youth, community, and other groups representing more than 12 million Americans.  The campaign is mobilizing the voices of the millions of Americans who want urgent action on a comprehensive clean energy and climate plan that delivers more jobs, less pollution, and greater security.

For more information, please visit: www.cleanenergyworks.us

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