Polling to Support Effective Policy Options and Attractive Consumer Choices
Presented by: Bill Regan (EAN Senior Fellow)
Supported by: Kristin Carlson (Green Mountain Power), Alexandra McLean (Leonine Public Affairs), Johanna Miller (Vermont Natural Resources Council)
Summary: Vermont’s state and local governments, businesses, and non-profits working to address energy use, emissions, and climate change would be able to propose more effective policy options and offer more attractive consumer choices if they had high-quality polling data on how Vermonters think about these issues and the actions needed to deal with them. Such polling would ensure that the needs and concerns of all Vermonters, regardless of demographic, inform our collective energy and climate-change decisions in the years to come.
Vermont has a vast amount of quality data on our energy sources, usage, and emissions, as well as the economic impact of these activities—as summarized in EAN’s Annual Progress Report. We lack, however, rigorous longitudinal polling data on Vermonters’ attitudes towards these topics and the steps they want governments, businesses, and other organizations to take. We also lack insight into what steps Vermonters as individuals would be willing to take. Existing environmental polling offers us a starting point, but has not been frequent, comprehensive, or longitudinal; does not provide demographic breakdowns on how historically underrepresented communities think about these issues; and sometimes comes from organizations with specific lobbying agendas.