Poll: Suburban Pittsburgh voters represented by Rep. Conor Lamb rate climate provisions of infrastructure plan highly

Proposal builds bridges across party lines in Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District

PITTSBURGHA new poll released Wednesday revealed support for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal across the political spectrum in Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District. The district, represented by Rep. Conor Lamb, includes all of Beaver County and portions of Allegheny and Butler Counties. This survey, providing district-specific data on how voters view the American Jobs Plan (AJP), is sponsored by PennEnvironment, Earthjustice and Environment America. 

On multiple measures, voters in the district clearly signal that components of the AJP that focus specifically on climate change and clean energy are a significant selling point. For example, Rep. Lamb has introduced legislation to reduce methane emissions and 75 percent of voters support investments to protect drinking water by fixing methane leaks and capping old fracked gas wells.

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, 59 percent of voters in the 17th District firmly say that this approach makes them more likely to support the AJP.

The poll found that overall, voters support the bill by a 59 percent to 36 percent margin. Fifty-six percent of the all-important Independent voters polled approve of the plan. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed 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. 

Among the specific provisions designed to address the climate crisis: 

  • 82 percent of voters in the 17th District support investments to rebuild roads and bridges and modernize public transportation to ensure it is cleaner and able to serve more people.

  • 69 percent of voters support addressing the challenge of climate change by shifting to greater use of clean energy, reducing carbon pollution from vehicles and industry, and making homes and buildings more energy efficient.

  • 65 percent of voters support investments in clean energy such as wind and solar power by extending tax credits to spur innovation and manufacturing.

  • 58 percent of voters support investments in electric vehicles and charging stations to reduce pollution and help more Americans buy clean cars.

“Pennsylvania has been hit hard by the climate crisis and the societal devastation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ashleigh Deemer, Deputy Director of PennEnvironment. “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 support President Biden’s plan to build back better.”

State Senator Lindsey Williams, whose district falls within PA-17, said “The message I get from my constituents is clear-- they care about jobs and the environment, and the American Jobs Plan is the perfect opportunity to boldly address both of these issues together.”

Allegheny County Councilwoman Anita Prizio, who yesterday introduced a resolution to urge Congress to support climate infrastructure investments in Appalachia, said, "It's easy to see why voters in our region support these provisions in the American Jobs Plan. Projects that reduce our climate burden and clean up the environment not only improve health outcomes in our communities, but they keep people working and our region thriving for generations to come." 

Councilmember Kara Roggenkamp of Ben Avon, said, “Our community and our region still suffer from poor air quality from the industry and infrastructure of the past. I support federal investment in clean energy and electric vehicles that could improve the air we breathe as well as creating jobs and addressing the threat of climate change."

The survey was conducted via live telephone conversations between April 26 and April 29 by Hart Research Associates for Environment America and Earthjustice, in cooperation with the League of Conservation Voters. A memorandum outlining the full results of the survey is included with this press release.

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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.