The Emerging Conservationist Majority

Environmentalism isn’t just for Democrats anymore. Strong support of environmental priorities cuts across party lines, according to a statewide public opinion survey sponsored by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and the Piedmont Environmental Council.

The conservation coalition that emerges is as diverse as the electorate itself, ranging from Republican-leaning audiences, such as conservatives who attend church at least weekly, to liberal secular voters. Voters support a conservation agenda and conservation candidates, contend the survey’s sponsors. Says Lisa Guthrie, Executive Director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters Education Fund: “There is a clear and growing “Conservation Majority” of voters that is demanding that our Commonwealth take further actions to preserve and enhance our communities.”

Some of the findings:

  • 61 percent of voters believe the State must have a large role in solving the issue of global warming.
  • 61 percent say cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay is a top concern in deciding their vote for candidate for public office.
  • 68 percent prefer a candidate for public office who supports more transportation options for Virginia, such as more commuter rail and expanded bus services to reduce traffic.
  • 65 percent say that a candidate’s view on land use, growth and curbing sprawl will be the most important or an important factor in their voting decision

To see details of the survey, click here.

Republicans, take note. Environmental issues have traditionally been Democratic issues. As a rule, Democrats have an affinity for government- and rules-oriented public policy solutions. That’s why solutions to environmental issues tend to augment the power of government at the expense of free markets and property rights. If you don’t like an expanding role for government, you’d better embrace the environmental ethos as your own and devise market-based solutions.

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6 responses to “The Emerging Conservationist Majority”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Your comments are correct to a point. If you look at the members of the GA that had good ratings with the Conservation League there a number of prominent Republicans, ie Clay Athey, Chris Peace, Dave Nutter, Joe May, Bob Marshall, and Scott Lingamfelter to name a few.

  2. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    polls .. smolls…

    GREEN Talk is cheap… GREEN action is a little tougher.

    what would happen if you got an electric bill from Dominion and it had two charges on it.

    One line said $150 and the line below it said $170 and it asked you to check one and it was explained for the $170 bill that the $20 would be used to purchase power that was generated without mercury pollution…

    It’s easy to slap a “Save the Bay” sticker on your car than it is to sign up for $20 more a month to keep mercury out of the bay.

    But we DO have a choice.. elect a Dem to force all of us to pay that extra $20 or vote for a Republican who will sing the praises of GREEN power but fight to the death to keep it from getting on your monthly bill.

    gee.. I wonder if the Virginia League of Conservation Voters asked THAT question on their POLL?


  3. Groveton Avatar

    Love him or hate him Rep. Dingell is asking the right question:

    I’m will Larry Gross – polls, smolls

    The “green movement” is aptly named.

    Personally, I think Dingell’s policies are absurd. However, I’ll give him credit for asking the whole question (unlike the Conservation League).

  4. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Excellent link – thanks for sharing!

    There is middle ground for those that actually want to lead though.

    Check out the Wall Street Journal this morning:

    “Letting the Power Company Control Your AC

    Utilities Roll Out New Devices,
    Programs to Help Consumers
    Keep Their Energy Use Down”

    I searched in vain for the words “Dominion Power”, or Virginia or Green Virginia groups, etc and zip.. nada…

    Where are our Virginia Republican “leaders” who SAY they favor incentives rather than rules/regs/laws for energy conservation?

    For that matter, where are Virginia’s GREEN groups on HOW to get a cleaner/greener environment.

    I don’t want to be critical but here is their statement:

    “VALCV supports the development of a responsible energy policy for Virginia that protects
    natural resources and human health … “

    where.. are the ideas for Virginia?

    We hear fretting and hand wringing of what might become of the Republican party in Va…

    well.. it’s not like there is a lack of opportunities to exploit..

    but apparently they are so wedded to Dominion Power that the proverbial cat has their tongue on even common-sense ideas that the public would support… without new regs.. or taxes.

  5. Ray Hyde Avatar
    Ray Hyde

    “provides the private sector guidance in what kind of re-zoning requests the locality is likely to approve”

    Why should the locality disapprove ANY zoning request, providing that there is sufficient mitigation offered for problems that may surface as a result?

    It would be more appropriate if the guidelines were designed to help people figure out how and under what conditions their projects will be approved and not designed to prevent anything unless it is a true matter of safety.

  6. Ray Hyde Avatar
    Ray Hyde

    I’ve been trying to point out to you that we need a truth in advertizing rule with respect to environmental positions of all types is needed.

    Otherwise you are going to cede the green position to the Dems, and they will rule from a position of righteousness, even if it is incorrect and ineffective. IF it is incorrect and ineffective. If it isn’t incorrect and ineffective, then they win the triple crown.

    As Larry points out, conservation costs money. We need a factual message that shows how much it is going to cost, who will pay, what the results will be, and when we are finished: how clean is clean.

    Then we need another factual and believable sales message that proves beyond a shadow that the cost is worth it.

    Right now, all we have is agenda driven drivel. We need a much better story, and one that is much more egalitarian and market driven than the Dems are likely to dish out.

    It needs to sound as if it was not written by a bunch of financial and corporate fat-cats wearing broad striped suits and smoking big cigars for the sole purpose of enhancing corporate profits.

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