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Clean Air and Water tops list of Connecticut Voter's concerns

HARTFORD Connecticut voters are very concerned about the protection of clean air and clean water, and they rate this issue on par with crime and drugs, education, and health care, says a new poll released by the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (LCVEF) today. The poll also found that voters think protecting clean air, water, and open space should be a top priority for elected leaders, and environmental actions figure strongly in voting decisions.

The Mellman Group poll of 500 likely November 2000 voters indicates a strong commitment to environmental protection by voters in all parts of the state and across party lines. The poll was conducted from June 19 to 22, 2000 for LCVEF.

"This poll shows that voters are deeply concerned about protecting clean air, water and open space. Eighty-eight percent of voters consider these issues to be important in making their voting decision," said Lori Brown, Executive Director of the Connecticut Conservation Voters Education Fund. "Elected leaders should stand up and take notice that these issues matter to voters on a very fundamental level. They will support candidates who want to protect air, water, and open space," she continued.

Highlights of the poll include:

Voters in the state rated clean air and water as the top concern, tied with crime and drugs, and of more concern than education and health care.

When asked how important are issues involving clean water, clean air and open space in making a voting decision, 88 percent of voters said those issues were important, 42 percent very important and 46 percent somewhat important.

When given a choice between two candidates-Candidate A who believes we must protect the environment, and supports strong laws and enforcement of those laws and Candidate B who believes there are too many government regulations and supports efforts to relieve the burden of regulation on business, Connecticut voters chose Candidate A, 82 percent to 13 percent over Candidate B.

When asked what conservation or environmental concerns voters worried about the most, 26 percent said water quality is their greatest worry. Air quality followed with 20 percent.

Seventy-eight percent of voters in the state say there is no need to pick between the environment and the economy. But if a choice had to be made between a strong economy and a clean environment, a majority of voters (51 percent) would rather see a clean environment than a strong economy (41 percent).

Eighty-five percent of Connecticut voters want either tougher enforcement of environment laws or stronger laws.

Eighty-eight percent of those voters polled believe that older coal and oil burning power plants should be required to meet the current emissions standards set by the Clean Air Act. Only 9 percent believe that they should be allowed to continue to operate as they are.

Seventy-one percent of voters would favor declaring Long Island Sound a reserve. This could include protecting water quality, preserving natural shoreline, creating underwater research areas and providing better public access.

Seventy-eight percent believe that Connecticut's Environmental Policy and Protection acts need to be strictly enforced to protect the environment.

Methodology: The telephone survey of 500 registered voters likely to vote in the 2000 election was commissioned by LCVEF and conducted by The Mellman Group. The survey was conducted June 19 to 22, 2000. A random sample of this type is likely to yield a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent in 95 out of 100 cases.




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