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Fox and The Wall Street Journal Don't Get It: Americans Want Action on Global Warming and Clean Energy

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Originally posted at The Seminal.

Despite what the Wall Street Journal would have you believe, the election on Tuesday did not indicate opposition to action on global warming and clean energy. In fact, we are now seeing more and more evidence that the opposite is true.

A poll was just released with some extremely encouraging data on voters' opinions on global warming and clean energy. It was commissioned by The National Wildlife Federation and conducted by Zogby.

Here are some of the findings, which show that support for combating global warming and investing in the green economy have gained tremendous support, especially among a few key demographics:

  • 78 percent of voters agree that investing in clean energy is important to revitalizing America's economy. Let that sink in for a second. If we can get 60% of the United States Senate to agree on this we'll be in good shape.
  • 57 percent of voters said it was important to back candidates who support reducing global warming pollution.

  • 60 percent agreed that elected officials should make combating global warming a high priority.

  • The results also showed increasing demand for climate action among some key demographic groups:
  • Independents: 57 percent felt it was important to vote for candidates who support reducing global warming pollution, up from 49 percent in 2006.

  • Minorities: An incredible 85 percent of African-Americans called it important to vote for climate candidates, a huge increase from 59 percent in 2006.
  • Among Hispanic voters, 70 percent agreed a candidate's climate stance was important, up from 62 percent in 2006.

  • Young voters: 53 percent strongly agreed that elected officials should make combating global warming a high priority, a major jump from 38 percent in 2006.
  • NWF's President and CEO Larry Schweiger offered the following summary of the findings:

    "This election was powered by a voting public that wants dramatic and meaningful change, especially when it comes to action to advance a clean energy economy," continued Schweiger. "President-elect Obama and the new Congress have the public support they need to move an ambitious clean energy agenda that measures up to the science of global warming and the full economic potential of our economy."

    So how did The Wall Street Journal and Fox get it so wrong? Short answer: intentionally.

    Not So Green: Voters Nix Most Environmental State Ballot Measures

    Not Easy Being Green

    Several of the initiatives the WSJ examined were opposed by environmentalists. I fail to see how this qualifies as voters nixing environmental measures. They also conveniently forgot to mention all of the environmentally friendly initiatives approved by voters on Tuesday. For the record, here are eight:

    CA Proposition 1A: Would partially fund a high-speed train linking Southern California with the Bay Area and the Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley.

    CA Proposition 2: Would prohibit the confinement of livestock in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, stand up, lie down, or extend their wings and limbs.

    FL Amendment 4: Would institute a property-tax exemption for property placed under permanent conservation protection.

    Minnesota Clean Water, Wildlife, Cultural Heritage, and Natural Areas Amendment: Would raise the state sales tax by three-eighths of 1 percent in order to increase state funding for natural resource protection and cultural heritage programs.

    MO Proposition 3: Would require 15 percent of the state's electricity come from clean energy sources by 2021, and would require that utilities raise consumer rates no more than 1 percent per year to pay for the renewable energy.

    Ohio Issue 2: Would authorize the state to borrow $400 million for environmental conservation.

    Ohio Issue 3: Would create a constitutional amendment to protect property rights and rights to the reasonable use of water.

    Washington Prop. 1: Would provide $18 billion to support mass-transit services and expand light rail into several communities south of Seattle.

    It also wouldn't be hard to make the case that the defeat of California Propositions 7 and 10 were victories for environmentalists as well.

    In yet another election post-mortem, Fox displays exactly how out of touch they are:

    Though the financial crunch should place economy-harming global warming legislation on the back burner, the Natural Resources Defense Council is pushing for it within the first 100 days of the new Congress, supposedly as a means of easing the credit crisis and financing renewable energy projects.

    When you come across garbage like this, just remember: 78 percent of voters agree that investing in clean energy is important to revitalizing America's economy.

    Given the overwhelming success on statewide ballot initiatives, the pickups in the Senate and the new Zogby poll, it is absolutely clear that Obama has been handed an overwhelming clean energy mandate. Indeed, a Campaign for America's Future report (pdf) found that of the 29 new Democratic members of Congress elected on Tuesday, "28 promoted a green economy, one that ends our reliance on foreign oil, and creates and expands new and clean energy production."

    It is also clear that the Wall Street Journal and Fox News are intentionally misleading their readers. Then again, that is to be expected.

    While you are here, education yourself on clean coal.

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