Christopher Newport University recently released their 2017 survey of Virginian’s environmental attitudes. In it, they found that:
- Over the last 20 years, Virginia voters have become increasingly optimistic about the quality of the Commonwealth’s natural environment, giving it an improved grade from “C” to “B.” Voters say the environment is important to them personally, and want it to be a priority for the next governor.
- Water quality concerns top the list of environmental issues facing Virginia, according to voters, and they worry the state is doing too little on contamination of tap water and adequacy of drinking water supplies.
- Voter support for the Chesapeake Bay restoration was among the strongest opinions expressed with a near unanimous majority strongly supporting placing continued priority on implementing the regional plan to clean up the Bay.
- Virginia voters are supportive of action on several environmental policies, and support enforcement of current environmental laws and regulations. They do not generally see a conflict between the environment and the economy, favor the environment if forced to make a choice, and think enforcement of environmental laws and regulations can occur simultaneously with economic growth.
- Virginia voters want the federal government to play a greater role than they perceive it currently does in protecting the Commonwealth’s environment and natural resources. They do not favor rolling back environmental protections.
- Virginia voters are supportive of continued state level actions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, even if federal requirements are rolled back. They also favor continuing tax credits for landowners who voluntarialy preserve their land, as well as, increased environmental literacy requirements for students.
- The poll also showed that a relatively large percentage of Virginia voters need additional information on currrent issues associated with sea level rise, fracking in the coastal region, and offshore drilling in order to evaluate progress on those issues.
CBS 19 (Charlottesville, Va.): Poll finds strong support for environmental protection issues