Friday, February 22, 2013

Poll Shows Strong Opposition To Open Pit Mine

How out of touch is the Legislature and Gov. Walker on the mining bill?

Or put it this way: how indebted are they to the mining company, conservative funders and business interests who are calling in their big campaign chit with public opinion so strongly against blowing up the Northern Wisconsin Penokee Hills and the Bad River watershed for a massive open pit mine.

From the League of Conservation Voters today comes this polling data:

Poll: Open-Pit Mining Bill Deeply Unpopular
Madison- A poll released today shows that public opposition to the provisions of the Open-Pit Mining Bill (SB 1/AB 1) has grown significantly since last year. Wisconsin voters oppose the bill by a 33% margin (62-29). Opposition has increased 20 points since last year with undecideds having shifted into the opposition camp. Those voters who consider themselves “independent” opposed the bill by a 44% margin. Support for the bill among Republicans has also dropped.
“The more voters learn about the Open-Pit Mining Bill and the threat it poses to Wisconsin’s natural resources and public health, the more they oppose it. It turns out that standing up for a mining company’s ability to dump waste into our streams and expose our families to deadly chemicals like arsenic and lead is a very unpopular position among the Wisconsin electorate,” said Anne Sayers, Program Director for Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.  
The poll also tested:
  • Whether mining companies should be allowed to fill wetlands with waste and other materials (Oppose 67-24).
  • Whether the amount of money the DNR can collect from mining companies for permit reviews should be capped (Oppose 78-13).
  • Whether the role of legislators is to bring jobs to the state no matter the cost to the environment or to balance jobs at environmental concerns (Balance 77-18).
  • How concerned voters are that the mining company played a key role in writing the Open-Pit Mining Bill (Concerned 77-20).
“Proponents of the Open-Pit Mining Bill had an additional year to fix and sell this bill to the voters of Wisconsin, but they’ve only lost ground. The bill can’t be fixed. The public knows it and the legislators know it. The only question now is whether legislators will stand with the Wisconsinites they represent or an out-of-state mining company,” concluded Sayers.
The poll by Public Policy Polling surveyed 911 Wisconsin voters on February 18th and 19th, exactly one year since a similar poll was conducted. The margin of error is +/-3%.
View the polling memo from Public Policy Polling here. View the crosstabs here.

1 comment:

Gareth said...

I believe the numbers will get even worse for the mining bill as more people become fully aware of the laws provisions. In the next election the mining bill may well prove to be the anvil, but Democrats still need find a good hammer.