Thursday, March 25, 2021

7 Out Of 10 PA Voters Are Concerned About Climate Change Impacting Their Children, Grandchildren

On March 25,
a new poll found 73 percent of Pennsylvania voters are concerned about the future negative impacts of climate change on their children and grandchildren, and also want state government to support communities financially (70 percent) who may be impacted by the change to cleaner energy sources.

They also support state assistance for communities impacted by loss of fossil-fuel energy production.

As Pennsylvania moves to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed investments of RGGI revenues into a new Energy Communities Trust Fund to provide direct support for workers in communities that are affected by participating in RGGI and to improve and diversify local economies. 

When asked if they would support the creation of such a fund, a large majority-- 59 percent said they would. 

The findings were released by the Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania Coalition and PennFuture.

“Support for stronger state action is broad-based and includes majorities of voters in all political parties,” said James Lee, President, Susquehanna Polling and Research. “We are now seeing what I call ‘Climate Change Activators’ – true believers in climate change who are willing to take bold action to improve the environment. Many of these are also ‘swing’ voters who decide elections and want to see action on this issue. Majority concern for the effects of global warming is consistent with recent national polling showing 2 in 3 Americans are worried about the impact of climate change on future generations. This is a settled issue in the minds of voters. Now it’s up to policymakers to decide how to implement their wishes.”

“Pennsylvania is behind the curve in addressing air pollution and voters statewide are acknowledging their concern and the desire to see strong action,” said CJFP advisory board member and Carlisle Borough Councilman Joel Hicks. “It’s time for us to support our skilled workforce and advance it into clean electricity production. The benefits are clear: clean air; improved public health; high-paying jobs; and affordable electricity prices.”

“This poll reinforces something we've known for several years now: Pennsylvanians of all walks of life want immediate action to combat climate change, and they want our elected officials to treat this issue with utmost urgency," said PennFuture President and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo. “In addition, this poll shows that Pennsylvanians are serious about transitioning to a clean energy economy, and they support government action to help our communities and our workers break free from an economic reliance on fossil fuel extraction and consumption. At a time when Pennsylvania is close to joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, it's clear that residents across the Commonwealth are demanding exactly this kind of action to lower our carbon footprint.”

The survey also found Pennsylvanians are willing to make personal sacrifices for cleaner air.  These so-called ‘climate change activators’ are true believers in the cause and are willing to put their money where their mouths are. 

When asked if they would support a clean energy standard in Pennsylvania if it increased their electric bills by less than $5 a month, 65 percent of all Pennsylvanians surveyed said yes. 

Only 13 percent strongly opposed the concept. In other RGGI states, many electric bills have actually gone down. Lawmakers could choose to allocate a portion of RGGI proceeds in Pennsylvania to reduce even small increases among low-income families.

“Pennsylvania lawmakers would be wise to listen to these voices from all across the state and abandon efforts to continue blocking RGGI, and instead focus on moving Pennsylvania forward on this critical issue,” said Carole Kenney, CJFP advisory board member and Vice-Chair of the Board of Supervisors for Upper Merion Township. “Pennsylvanians want to prioritize clean air and understand the economic value and opportunity of a clean energy future.”

Click Here for a copy of the poll results.

Related Articles:

-- Gov. Wolf Announces Major Commitment To Solar Energy To Supply Nearly 50% Of State Government's Electricity Needs 

-- Sen. Scavello Reintroduces Legislation To Enable Community Solar Projects 

-- Senate Committee OKs Bill To Encourage Development Of Clean Vehicle Infrastructure- Electric, Natural Gas, Hydrogen

[Posted: March 25, 2021] PA Environment Digest

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