Data for Climate Progress - Andrew Cuomo Resigning is Infrastructure - 8.24.21
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What We’re Watching
Infrastructure Votes in the House
This week, the House of Representatives will take pivotal votes to advance the $3.5 trillion budget resolution recently passed by the Senate. However, nine Democratic members of Congress have indicated they will not consider the budget proposal until the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passes the House and is signed into law by President Biden.
Our new poll with Climate Power finds that voters in those nine districts (CA-16, GA-07, HI-01, ME-02, NJ-05, OR-05, TX-15, TX-28, and TX-34) overwhelmingly support the Build Back Better budget plan and are less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes it.
These findings indicate that voters are paying attention to the national debate and view the climate and clean energy components of the Build Back Better agenda as a top priority for Congress.
A Progressive Platform for Carbon Removal
The recent IPCC report makes abundantly clear that to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming, we must both rapidly decarbonize our economy and eliminate legacy pollution. Carbon removal technologies will be critical tools to achieving net-zero emissions, and we have the opportunity to jumpstart a new carbon economy that builds upon the principles of equity and justice — unlike the vision of carbon removal advanced by oil and gas giants.
In a series of memos on a progressive approach to carbon removal, our Climate Innovation Fellow Celina-Scott Beuchler outlines how a progressive net-negative emissions strategy can create new good-paying jobs and address systemic environmental injustices while putting America on a path to net-zero emissions.
Our polling finds that while a majority of voters know little or nothing about carbon removal, they are in favor of federal investments in carbon removal innovation.
Alexander Kaufman’s new article in the Huffington Post highlights our findings.
Voters support ending fossil fuel subsidies
Ending fossil fuel subsidies is a popular idea among Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike. In two July 2021 national surveys, Data for Progress assessed the attitudes of likely voters towards ending fossil fuel subsidies and regardless of the message, a majority of all likely voters still support ending fossil fuel subsidies, even after seeing negative messaging. Check out our blog for more details on this policy.
Electrify School Buses
Electrifying school buses is key for tackling the climate crisis and protecting children and neighborhoods from pollution. There are some 480,000 school buses across the nation polluting our neighborhoods at levels that federal officials say are dangerous to health, alongside other emissions that are linked to cancer, asthma and impaired brain development. From school yards to depots, they expose our most vulnerable students to emissions. Read more about how prospective infrastructure funding and policy can tackle this issue head on here.
From coast to coast, voters support a federal clean electricity standard
This summer, we partnered with regional organizations in six key states to assess support for a federal clean electricity standard (CES) and other major climate and clean energy provisions in the Build Back Better Agenda.
Check out this Tweet thread for the major highlights of our state-level polling.
Voters want Congress to go beyond the bipartisan deal and pass additional investments in climate and clean energy
While the bipartisan infrastructure plan is a good start, many of President Biden’s key climate and clean energy proposals like the CES, Civilian Climate Corps, and clean energy tax credits are not included in the legislation.
Our new polling with Climate Power finds that voters are overwhelmingly concerned about climate change and extreme weather, and want Congress to act by passing ambitious investments beyond the bipartisan deal.
We also find that voters don’t buy Republican attacks against these investments, and instead think that Democrats should use their majority in Congress to take climate action — even without Republicans’ support.
One thing Democrats and Republicans can agree on: Corporate fossil fuel interests have too much power.
While climate science has become politically polarized, new Data for Progress polling finds a bipartisan consensus rejecting the oil and gas industry’s grip on Washington. After reading recent quotes from an Exxon lobbyist about the influence the oil and gas industry has over Washington power brokers, nearly two-thirds of likely voters think oil and gas companies have too much power, including almost half of Republicans.
Make Polluters Pay
While for decades fossil fuel companies have evaded responsibility for their contributions to the climate crisis, voters now support making them pay for the damages that they have caused.
Our polling with Make Polluters Pay finds that a majority of voters think fossil fuel companies are responsible for addressing climate change and support a $500 billion fee on corporate polluters.
Moreover, voters think it is important that low-income communities and communities of color receive compensation from fossil fuel companies to improve community health and sustainability.
Guarding against pandemics
The pandemic also offers a grave warning against ignoring the far-reaching impacts of destroying our natural environment. Studies show that habitat fragmentation and land use changes are expected to create more opportunities for zoonotic diseases, like coronavirus, to spread to humans. The science is clear: environmental degradation has the potential to unleash illnesses into human populations. With the climate crisis only exacerbating these risks, it’s critical that we invest in preparing for future pandemics.
In July, Data for Progress and Guarding Against Pandemics conducted research into the attitudes towards an investment in pandemic preparedness, with a focus on how likely voters view pandemic preparedness in relation to other parts of the reconciliation package that Democrats in Congress are currently considering. Our polling found that voters see pandemic preparedness as important to include in reconciliation — and trust Democrats on the issue. Read our policy memo here.
This is it, folks: The next few weeks might determine whether or not the federal government takes action to avoid climate disaster. NBD.
Overwhelmed with existential climate dread and wondering what you can do to help? Take 10 minutes to call your Senators and demand that they take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pass a big, bold climate plan.
Check out Call4Climate for more information about how you can take action today.
Sierra Club (Marcela quoted)
Sierra Club (DFP mention)
The Hill (DFP mention)
Rolling Stone (DFP mention)
Clean Energy (DFP mention)
Truthout (DFP mention)
Mass Live (DFP mention)
Outside (DFP mention)
Clean Energy (DFP mention)
The Hill (DFP mention)
Axios (DFP mention)