Wednesday, October 29, 2014

African-American Voters Concerned About Economic Costs of EPA Regulations

African-American Voters Concerned About Economic Costs of EPA Regulations

Survey shows economy and jobs top priority, climate change lowest priority

A new survey reveals that a majority of African-American voters are concerned about the adverse economic impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon regulations and significantly less concerned about climate change, a major pillar of President Obama’s regulatory agenda.

According to the survey, climate change was the issue of least importance this election among 11 “hot-button” issues including healthcare, education, national security and defense, immigration and welfare and poverty. Jobs and the economy were the top policy priority for African-American voters.

Nearly 80 percent of African-American voters said they are “very concerned” about their personal budgets and finances. Three-fourths of African-American voters surveyed expressed concern about rising energy costs for their homes and businesses and a strong majority of 63 percent said they were concerned specifically with the impact of EPA’s regulations on energy costs.

Instead of issuing new climate change regulations, six out of ten African-American voters said they would rather see the Obama Administration promote regulations that maintain affordable energy prices. According to Harry Alford, president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce:
“With so many pressing issues looming, both here at home and beyond our borders, President Obama has pursued his misguided climate change agenda with tunnel vision, ignoring the fundamental concerns of African-Americans, like our economy, healthcare and education. The African-American community is already gravely concerned about their personal and business budgets and finances, and EPA’s climate change regulations will only exacerbate their financial woes.”

“With important midterm elections next week, and the 2016 presidential election on the horizon, elected officials should pay close attention to these survey results to understand the real policy priorities of African Americans.”
When asked what issues impact their community most significantly, climate change was again at the bottom of the list among those voters polled, with a scant three percent of African Americans viewing the issue as being most impactful. Instead, an overwhelming majority agreed that issues like unemployment, lack of education and income inequality had the most impact on the African-American community.

A majority of African-American voters believes that policymakers in Washington, D.C., are focused on the wrong priorities, while a plurality of African-American voters believe that the United States is falling behind other global powers.

Recognizing the dearth of polling data for this key voting demographic in advance of the midterm elections, especially with regard to energy and the environmental policy, NBCC partnered with ACCCE in sponsoring the poll, which was developed and administered by Paragon Insights. Conducted online between October 17 and 21, 2014, the survey gauged responses from 2,289 registered African-American voters. The margin of error was 2 percent. VIEW THE POLL HERE

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