Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Most Americans Would Oppose Infrastructure Plan That Sacrifices the Environment, New Poll Shows
Press Release

RELEASE: Most Americans Would Oppose Infrastructure Plan That Sacrifices the Environment, New Poll Shows

Washington, D.C — Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea that improving the nation’s infrastructure should come at the expense of protections for air, water, wildlife and natural places, a new poll finds.

Ninety-four percent of Americans, including 92 percent of people who voted for President Donald Trump, say that the country can build and modernize infrastructure while keeping environmental protections in place, according to the poll, which was conducted by Hart Research Associates for the Center for American Progress and Defenders of Wildlife.

Americans support the notion that strong environmental protections produce better infrastructure, which protects communities and the environment while saving taxpayer money. They disagree with the false premise—held by President Trump and his allies—that current environmental protections delay infrastructure projects.

The online survey of 1,000 registered voters nationwide was conducted from October 31 to November 4, 2017. The sample is representative of the 2016 electorate, both demographically and politically, including the 2016 presidential vote.

A clear majority of voters—64 percent—oppose an infrastructure proposal that would weaken environmental protections in order to build more infrastructure projects.

“This research demonstrates that even in today’s divisive political climate, there is a strong consensus among voters that it’s possible to build and improve bridges and roads while preserving a healthy environment for future generations,” said Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates. “Voters oppose proposals that weaken or eliminate environmental protections in the name of infrastructure and don’t buy the false claims that current environmental protections stand in the way of our infrastructure priorities.”

“Americans want an infrastructure plan that makes much-needed investments in our communities while protecting the clean air, clean water, and wildlife that we all value,” said Christy Goldfuss, vice president for Energy and Environment Policy at the Center for American Progress. “Voters overwhelmingly will reject Trump’s proposal that would sacrifice these protections to speed up the building of roads, bridges, and pipelines.”

“Our wild lands, waters, wildlife and communities are not President Trump’s to pave over,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife. “This poll proves that Americans reject any plan that sacrifices environmental health, and they don’t buy the scam that we have to undermine safeguards to get faster development.”

The research released today finds that supporters of environmental protections and common-sense policy can develop plans that preserve natural resources and deliver infrastructure investments.

For a memo on the poll, click here. For a slide presentation on the topline results, click here.

For more information or to speak to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at 202-478-6327 or [email protected].