A new poll of small business owners around the country suggests that a majority support cleaner energy sources and climate change regulations.
The poll was conducted for the American Sustainable Business Council by the Democratic pollster Lake Research Partners, and surveyed 513 small business owners across the country. Nearly half identified as Republicans, or Republican-leaning. Twenty-seven percent said they were Democrats, or Democratic-leaning, and 14 percent identified as Independents.
Despite political affiliations, nearly three-quarters of the survey respondents said national clean energy initiatives should be a government priority. A majority also supported ending federal subsidies to oil, gas and coal companies, and federal efforts to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
David Levine is the CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council. He says it’s logical that small business owners would support sustainable energy and climate change initiatives.
“From the costs from severe weather, the whole destruction of local infrastructure because of the impact of climate, these are the things that small business owners would feel very acutely,” he said.
Lavine says the poll results show that environmental initiatives and economic concerns can coexist.
“The argument that we have to choose between a safe and healthy environment, safe and healthy communities and a vibrant, strong economic base for our businesses is what we believe to be a very false conversation that this country has been having for awhile,” he said.
The poll was conducted in March; last week, President Obama laid out an ambitious climate change plan which includes carbon dioxide limits on power plants.