NEW POLL: Majority of Latinos in Colorado Support Clean Energy Investments and 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 Colorado who see the climate investments in the Build Back Better Act as a key way to make progress on top political issues
DENVER, Colo. – An overwhelming majority (86%) of Latino voters in Colorado 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 Colorado 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, Colorado 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 Colorado are living with the impacts of the climate crisis now: from working in dangerous and deadly extreme heat to wildfires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres in the state. Colorado Latinos breathe some of the worst air pollution in the nation. In August, Denver’s air quality was ranked the worst in the world, as the air quality index (AQI) stood at 167. This reality has made climate change a key issue for Latino voters across the state.
Seventy percent of Latino voters in Colorado think that extreme weather events are a direct result of climate change, and 82% 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 percent of Colorado 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 (57%) 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. Nationally, Latino households have a median energy burden (24%) greater than white households. Latino households, particularly those who are low-income, experience high energy burdens in Colorado and nationwide. In 2016, Latino households in Denver paid 41% more of their income in energy costs than the median household. In Colorado, there is a massive potential for energy cost savings by harnessing the abundant power of the state’s solar and wind resources. With the clean energy investments included in the Build Back Better Act, Colorado could see thousands of new good-paying clean energy jobs and boost overall household income. This clean energy job creation would benefit Latinos, who already make up 20% of workers in the wind and solar industries.
Here are some key takeaways from the poll released today:
- 78% of Latino voters in Colorado believe climate change is a very serious problem, with 35% calling it a crisis.
- Colorado Latino voters are most concerned with more frequent and more severe wildfires (30%), followed by more extreme heat and longer heat waves (20%), and longer and more extreme droughts (17%).
- 85% of Latino voters in Colorado 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.
- 87% of Latino voters in Colorado believe that it is important for Congress to pass legislation that brings on a better clean energy economy and many jobs for their community.
- 85% of Latino voters in Colorado 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 91% of Latino voters in Colorado believe Congress should pass this legislation.
- 87% of Latino voters in Colorado support legislation that creates millions of additional clean energy jobs in fast-growing industries like wind and solar.
- 85% of Latino voters in Colorado support legislation to make oil and gas companies pay their fair share for the pollution they create.
- 83% of Latino voters in Colorado support legislation that would reward electric utilities that generate more electricity from clean energy sources, like wind and solar.
- 81% of Latino voters in Colorado support legislation to make electric vehicles more affordable for consumers by providing tax rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles.
- 88% of Latino voters in Colorado support legislation to lower energy costs by making homes, schools, buildings, and vehicles more energy efficient.
Latinos in Colorado 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 Colorado who have been on the frontlines of this climate crisis while creating new jobs and boosting household incomes.