New Poll: Strong Majority of Pennsylvania Voters Support Climate Action to Cut Carbon and Methane Pollution
Current Moment Sees Climate-Forward Candidates Viewed Even More Favorably
(PITTSBURGH, Pa. – August 17, 2022) With the climate conversation front and center across the country and especially in energy-rich Pennsylvania, a new Global Strategy Group poll commissioned by EDF Action and NRDC Action Fund shows strong majorities supporting climate action to limit methane and carbon pollution.
The poll comes as Pennsylvania faces more strange and severe weather in the face of climate change in recent years including repeated “Heat Health Emergencies” in the Philadelphia area, longer and hotter summers leading to worse air pollution, floods causing major damage to cities and agriculture, and “bomb cyclones” bringing heavy storms.
Notably, the poll found Pennsylvania lawmakers who support measures to reduce carbon and methane emissions see a political lift when running on these issues – both before and after a balanced and vigorous debate on the issue.
Independent voters polled on methane and carbon limits expressed strong support as well as an overwhelming majority of those polled in the Philadelphia suburbs and a majority of those polled in the Pittsburgh market.
“The poll makes clear that Pennsylvania voters support climate action - including reining in carbon and methane emissions,” said pollster Andrew Baumann, Senior Vice President at Global Strategy Group. “Further, if candidates run on these issues, the polling suggests they will gain support.”
Voters polled demonstrated support for policy prescriptions currently being contemplated. “As an example, nearly two-thirds of voters favor new rules to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations including small wells with leak-prone equipment,” continued Baumann.
Importantly, Pennsylvania voters reject the industry’s false choice that we have to choose between the economy and the environment – as majorities agree that moving to more clean energy will both create jobs and reduce energy prices for consumers. The majorities were similarly strong (61%) in favor of Pennsylvania taking specific steps to reduce carbon emissions statewide, including reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
“The poll released today makes it abundantly clear that voters recognize the importance of addressing climate change and would be more likely to vote for elected officials that will actually take action,” said Mandy Warner, Pennsylvania Director for EDF Action. “A substantial majority of Pennsylvania voters are supportive of both carbon and methane emissions proposals and are eager to support the candidate that favors climate action.”
Drilling down to specifics on climate pollution from the oil and gas industry, 62% of Pennsylvania voters agree that we should “make reducing air pollution a priority” and that “we need more rules” to protect our air, water and climate from oil and gas pollution.
“Pennsylvanians support clean air and climate action and are looking for leaders who will make progress on these issues,” said Jackson Morris, Senior Advisor with NRDC Action Fund. “Candidates who support efforts to cut dangerous carbon and methane pollution will rightfully be rewarded for prioritizing the health of our citizens and communities over big industry polluters’ profits.”
The poll also included head-to-head match-ups for the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races. Attorney General Josh Shapiro had a 50% to 42% lead over State Senator Doug Mastriano. Lt. Governor John Fetterman lead Dr. Mehmet Oz, 49% to 37%.
In a generic match-up for state legislative races, voters were split evenly at 46% for both Democrats and Republicans.
The poll of 1,200 likely general election voters in Pennsylvania was conducted July 14-19 with a margin of error of +/- 2.9%.
See the poll memo here.
See the toplines here.
See the deck here.