With 12.2 million Latinos projected to vote in November, the race is on to capture Latino support in key battleground states. But even as Gov. Romney scrambles to appeal to Latino voters, new polling confirms that he couldn't be more out of touch with Latinos when it comes to our energy future. While Latinos call for cleaner, safer energy, Mitt Romney wants to send us backwards in time, lining the pockets of our dirtiest industries while sacrificing the health of Latinos.
With the election around the corner, Latinos want candidates who can guarantee a healthier future -- one where their families aren't forced into hospitals in the name of big polluter profits. Recent polling conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) in Nevada:
• 73 percent of Latino voters in Nevada were more likely to support a candidate who wants to reduce dangerous carbon pollution from power plants, rather than ignore it.
• 70 percent of Latinos would vote for a candidate who supports EPA standards to cut toxic mercury emissions from smokestacks.
• 68 percent of Latino voters supported a candidate who backed incentives for growing clean energy industries, rather than for fossil fuel companies.
• And 67 percent would vote for a candidate who wanted strong fuel efficiency standards for our cars.
These numbers aren't unique to Nevada. In other battleground states, including New Mexico, Florida, and Virginia, Latino voters expressed time and time again their support for candidates who want to foster the growth of cleaner energy instead of dirty, fossil fuels.
With such clear numbers on Latino voters, how are the candidates responding? While President Obama has passed historic vehicle standards to save us money at the pump, helped clean up power plants, and supported investment in homegrown energy sources like wind and solar, Mitt Romney seems to be blinded by his own dirty energy fog -- one that no doubt comes from the big polluters who fund him.
Romney's energy plan is nothing short of disastrous for Latinos. He would steamroll over health protections, rolling back life-saving standards that reduce mercury in our air and water, and cut down on harmful pollution that causes global warming. He would make us all pay more at the pump, by reversing landmark fuel efficiency standards for our cars. And he would take control of our public lands away from all Americans, allowing states to start a race to the bottom, where fossil fuel industries shape pollution controls and our communities are left to suffer the consequences.
Romney would ensure that Big Oil companies -- giant corporations that have brought in $1 trillion in profits since 2001 -- keep getting enormous tax handouts paid for by all Americans. That's while he would slash tax incentives for clean energy sources like wind, even as the wind industry supplies tens of thousands of jobs in manufacturing, construction, and other services.
While nearly 90 percent of Latino voters nationwide support clean energy, Mitt Romney doesn't seem to care. Or perhaps he's preoccupied with the multi-million-dollar donations coming in from giant oil tycoons. How else could he justify sacrificing our health in the name of dirty, polluting industries?
This November, Latino voters will go to the polls looking for a candidate that cares about their well-being. This poll shows that at least in these key battleground states, the candidate that will work to give us a safer, brighter future, based on homegrown clean energy technologies and important safeguards for the health of our children will come out on top.