National Environmental Survey
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From December 8 – 11, 1998, the polling company conducted a nationwide survey of attitudes on environmental policy of 1,000 registered voters nationwide. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.1 % at 95 %.
· Approximately 70 percent of registered voters believe that state or local government would do a better at environmental protection than 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;
· 74 percent believe that state and local governments should determine what air pollution control measures are used, and 36 percent believe that state and local governments should be allowed to “set their own air quality standards based on local needs” as well;
· 63 percent support compensation of landowners for the costs of environmental regulations that restrict the use of their land;
· 59 percent support the “private ownership, management and breeding endangered wildlife” to help conserve endangered species;
· 53 percent believe that journalists “blow things out of proportion” in their coverage of environmental issues.
These results are consistent with CEI’s 1996 National Survey of Attitudes on Environmental Policy. Both surveys found that most Americans support environmental protection and significant reform of existing environmental laws. For most Americans, devolution, regulatory reform, and property rights are consistent with environmental protection.