Americans Are Pro-Environment, Anti-Federal Regulation: Survey Results Confirm Prior Findings that Americans Support Policy Refo

Americans Are Pro-Environment, Anti-Federal Regulation: Survey Results Confirm Prior Findings that Americans Support Policy Refo

January 18, 1999

Washington, D.C. January 19, 1999 – A newly-released National Environmental Survey shows that Americans prefer state and local solutions to environmental problems over federal regulations. The survey, conducted by the polling company and released today by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, demonstrates that Americans are both pro-environment and against centralized federal regulations.

Some of the poll’s key findings include the following:

  • Approximately 70 percent believe that state or local government would do a better job at environmental protection than the federal government;

  • 68 percent believe that state or local government should have primary responsibility for protecting water quality in rivers, lakes and streams;

  • 65 percent believe that state or local government should be most responsible for ensuring that communities are aware of the potential risks from industrial facilities;

  • 63 percent support compensation of landowners for the costs of environmental regulations that restrict the use of their land;

  • Only 8 percent believe the federal government should be the primary actor in dealing with urban sprawl; most prefer that state or local government address this issue.

"Americans are unquestionably pro-environment," commented Jonathan H. Adler, CEI senior director of environmental policy. "But they are also suspicious of the extensive, command-and-control environmental bureaucracy headquartered in Washington, DC. Indeed, most Americans are both pro-environment and anti-federal regulation." Adler noted that the survey findings were quite similar to those from the polling company’s 1996 national survey on environmental policy.

The 1999 survey of 1,000 randomly selected registered voters nationwide was administered by telephone December 8-11. It has a margin of error or +/- 3.1 % at the 95 percent confidence level.

CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For a copy of the poll, please contact CEI at 202-331-1010. For more information, contact Emily McGee, director of media relations, at 202-331-1010.