Poll: Northeast Pennsylvania districts represented by Reps. Wild, Cartwright, rate climate provisions of infrastructure plan highly
PHILADELPHIA – A new poll released Wednesday revealed support for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal across the political spectrum in Pennsylvania’s 7th and 8th Congressional Districts. The districts, represented by Reps. Susan Wild and Matt Cartwright, respectively, encompass parts of Wayne, Pike, Lackawanna, Lehigh, and Northampton counties. Rep. Wild’s district includes Allentown, Bethlehem, and suburban and rural areas. Rep. Cartwright’s district includes Hazelton, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and other nearby jurisdictions. This survey, providing district-specific data on how voters view the American Jobs Plan (AJP), is sponsored by PennEnvironment, Earthjustice and Environment America.
The poll found that overall, voters in the 7th District support the bill by a 63 percent to 29 percent margin, while voters in the 8th District support the bill by a 60 percent to 34 percent margin. Sixty-three percent of the all-important Independent voters polled approve of the plan in the 7th District, while 51 percent approve in the 8th District. Fifty-eight percent of 7th District voters and 64 percent of 8th District voters said Congress should pass the bill if a bipartisan majority of the U.S. public supports it, even if Congress does not reflect that bipartisanship.
On multiple measures, voters in the districts clearly signal that components of the AJP that focus specifically on climate change and clean energy are a significant selling point. When told that the plan includes a major emphasis on investments to expand the use of clean energy, such as wind and solar power, to tackle the climate crisis and create jobs, 72 percent of voters in the 7th District and 61 percent of voters in the 8th District firmly say that this approach makes them more likely to support the AJP.
Among the specific provisions designed to address the climate crisis:
87 percent of voters in both the 7th and 8th Districts support investments to rebuild roads and bridges and modernize public transportation to ensure it is cleaner and able to serve more people.
82 percent of voters in the 7th District and 86 percent of voters in the 8th District support investments to upgrade drinking water infrastructure so all Americans have access to safe, clean water by replacing every lead water pipe in the country.
81 percent of voters in the 7th District and 75 percent of voters in the 8th District support investments to protect drinking water and the air we breathe by fixing methane leaks and capping old fracked gas wells.
76 percent of voters in the 7th District and 69 percent of voters in the 8th District support addressing climate change by using more clean energy, reducing carbon pollution from vehicles and industry and making homes and buildings more energy efficient.
“Pennsylvania has been hit hard by the climate crisis and the societal devastation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said PennEnvironment Deputy Director Ashleigh Deemer. “The American Jobs Plan is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in what matters and tackle the climate crisis, and this data demonstrates that Pennsylvanians strongly support President Biden’s plan to build back better.”
Rabbi Daniel Swartz, Executive Director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and Rabbi of Temple Hesed of Scranton, said, "Jewish sages have recognized the importance of infrastructure for society's health and well-being at least since Talmudic discussions in the second century. What they realized, and what is even more true today, is that investments in infrastructure can either tie us to an unhealthy past or connect us to a better future. It's not just about building bridges -- it's about building bridges to a healthy, sustainable way of life. We need to act on this plan now, so that our descendants will have better lives."
The surveys were conducted between April 26 and April 29 in the 7th District and April 28 and May 2 in the 8th District by Hart Research Associates for Environment America and Earthjustice, in cooperation with the League of Conservation Voters. Memorandums outlining the full results of the survey are included with this press release.
PennEnvironment is a citizen-based, statewide environmental advocacy organization working to ensure clean air, clean water, and protecting Pennsylvania’s great natural heritage. For more information about this and other PennEnvironment projects, visit www.PennEnvironment.org.