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PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE: Poll: AZ Voters Worried About PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE: Poll: AZ Voters Worried About
20 February 2023

PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE: Poll: AZ Voters Worried About Water, Support Cleaner Energy

Category: News Coverage

The 13th annual 'Conservation in the West' poll shows Arizonans are seriously concerned about the state's water situation, and that they support habitat and wildlife protection and prioritize expanding clean energy.

Arizona is one of eight Western states where voters shared their perspectives with pollsters about certain conservation initiatives.

Maite Arce - president and CEO of the Hispanic Access Foundation - said communities of color across the West are the ones being disproportionately affected, especially by the Colorado River water crisis.

In the poll, a majority of Arizona voters characterize the current western water situation as a "serious problem."

"This year," said Arce, "the poll results showed strong concern among communities of color on water issues directly linked from the Colorado River crisis. Almost all communities of color showed a strong desire to protect sources of drinking water."

In Arizona, pollsters found almost 90% of Arizonans believe the Colorado River is critical to the state's economy, and 85% believe river management deserves urgent action as water levels continue to drop.

Arizona voters also show strong support for gradually transitioning to 100% renewable energy.

And while that transition takes place, 92% said they would like to see oil and gas companies required to use updated equipment and technology to prevent methane gas leaks.

Pollster Dave Metz - president of FM Three - said over the decade-plus in which the poll has been conducted, support for cleaner and renewable forms of energy has remained consistent and strong.

"We have had 65%, basically two-thirds of Western voters," said Metz, "saying they want to prioritize developing more clean energy. Fewer than one-third telling us that they want to expand coal, oil and gas production."

A majority of participants in the Grand Canyon State also showed strong interest in leaders putting more emphasis on protecting water, air, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities over maximizing the amount of land available for drilling and mining.

Written by Alex Gonzalez for the Public News Service.

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