Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Study: Rural Westerners strongly support environmental protections, but not necessarily from the government

Rural voters in the West strongly favor environmental protections and conservation, even when those actions might hurt economic growth, but they are wary of such protections when paired with government oversight, according to a study by researchers from Duke University, the University of Wyoming and the University of Rhode Island.

Rural, urban and suburban Western voters agreed on the importance of the environment and conservation: 73 percent of rural voters and 75% of urban and suburban voters said such topics were very or pretty important to them personally. Also, Western voters are more likely to support U.S. action on climate change than rural voters nationwide.

The big rural-urban divide came over the role of government regulation in protecting the environment: only 25% of rural Westerners said there needs to be more governmental oversight, compared with 42% of urban voters.

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