NEW POLL: Majority of Latino Voters in Florida Support Clean Energy Investments in the Build Back Better Act to Create Jobs and Fight the Climate Crisis
A new poll from BSP Research and Climate Power shows that acting on climate is a priority for Latinos in Florida who see the climate investments in the Build Back Better Act as a key way to make progress on top political issues.
TALLAHASSEE, Flor. – An overwhelming majority (85%) of Latino voters in Florida think Congress and President Biden taking climate action should be an important priority for this year. According to a new poll from BSP Research and Climate Power, Latino voters in Florida and across the country want to see the Build Back Better Agenda passed, which includes clean energy tax credits and environmental justice policies. While the climate investments in the Build Back Better Act are still being debated in Congress, Florida Latinos made clear that they want to see President Biden’s climate agenda enacted to create thousands of jobs across the state, lower energy costs, and protect the community from pollution and climate change.
Latinos in Florida are living with the impacts of the climate crisis now: from working in dangerous and deadly extreme heat, to paying higher energy costs to having the highest prevalence of lifetime asthma out of any population in the state. Latino Floridians are at higher risk of suffering from airzone pollution, with Hillsborough County, the only Florida county to earn an F for ozone pollution from the American Lung Association, having one of the highest Latino populations in the state. This reality has made climate change a key issue for Latino voters across the state.
Seventy-four percent of Latino voters in Florida think that extreme weather events are a direct result of climate change, and 77% say the situation is getting worse each year. Climate change is also a big issue for Latino’s at the polls — it holds nearly as great of importance as the DREAM Act in terms of issues that determine their vote. Fifty-four percent of Florida Latino voters said they would not support a candidate who opposed national legislation to address and reduce climate change even if they agreed with them on other issues. This is on par with how many who say (52%) a candidate opposing the DREAM act would be a dealbreaker.
Even though climate change impacts all of us, decades of environmental injustice have put the greatest burden on communities of color. Latinos are the most exposed and the least likely to recover after an extreme weather event. This is why the Build Back Better Act resonates so strongly in the community — it shows a clear path forward to mitigate climate change through a strong clean energy economy, while making strides towards environmental justice and protecting communities of color from toxic pollution.
Latinos are one of the groups that will benefit the most from these bold climate and clean energy investments. In Tampa, the share of income spent on energy costs is 25% higher for the Hispanic population than it is for the general population, and in Miami, 24% of Hispanic households experience a high energy burden. Florida has massive potential for energy cost savings if utilities harness the abundant power of the state’s solar resources. With the clean energy investments included in the Build Back Better Act, Florida could harness these resources and save households on their energy bills. This expansion of clean energy would boost job creation in this sector and provide jobs for Latinos, who already make up 20% of workers in the wind and solar industries.
Here are some key takeaways from the poll released today:
- 69% of Latino voters in Florida believe climate change is a very serious problem, with 38% calling it a crisis.
- Florida Latino voters are most concerned about frequent and more powerful hurricanes (35%), followed by more extreme heat and longer heat waves (28%), and more frequent and more severe wildfires (16%).
- 90% of Latino voters in Florida believe that it is important for Congress to pass legislation that builds a clean energy economy that protects their communities from pollution and climate change.
- 91% of Latino voters in Florida believe that it is important for Congress to pass legislation that brings on a better clean energy economy and many jobs for their community.
- 88% of Latino voters in Florida believe that it is important for Congress to pass legislation that will reduce extreme weather, fires, droughts, and hurricanes, which have made it harder for their families to work and earn a living.
- COVID is the most important issue for Latinos. Decades of exposure to pollution left Latinos more vulnerable to serious illness and death during the pandemic. Latinos understand the connection between health and environmental injustice first hand.
- That is why protecting the health of their families by reducing toxic pollution in the air and water is a key reason 86% of Latino voters in Florida believe Congress should pass this legislation.
- 88% of Latino voters in Florida support legislation that creates millions of additional clean energy jobs in fast-growing industries like wind and solar.
- 83% of Latino voters in Florida support legislation to make oil and gas companies pay their fair share for the pollution they create.
- 89% of Latino voters in Florida support legislation that would reward electric utilities that generate more electricity from clean energy sources, like wind and solar.
- 85% of Latino voters in Florida support legislation to make electric vehicles more affordable for consumers by providing tax rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles.
- 89% of Latino voters in Florida support legislation to lower energy costs by making homes, schools, buildings, and vehicles more energy efficient.
Latinos in Florida are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and the Build Back Better Act would go a long way to protect families, communities, and jobs from the extremes of climate change.
The Build Back Better Act includes transformational clean energy tax incentives as well as key environmental justice provisions, including climate justice block grants to reduce pollution in frontline communities; cleanup of superfund sites; investments in healthy ports; a Civilian Climate Corps, and more. The Build Back Better Act is an historic opportunity to provide relief for Latinos in Florida who have been on the frontlines of this climate crisis while creating new jobs and boosting household incomes.