Westerners know that public lands support numerous economic drivers that are critical to our western economies, such as energy production, agriculture, and tourism. This was confirmed by a public opinion poll released today by Western Values Project and conducted by Public Policy Polling, which showed that a bipartisan majority of western voters look to our leaders in Washington to safeguard all of the diverse uses of our American public lands.
The poll on western public lands and energy development policies comes ahead of comprehensive energy legislation spearheaded by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK), which is slated to look at the whole of American energy policy, as well as a final decision on a number of administrative rules initiated by the Obama administration.
Overall, the poll found that voters in Colorado, Montana, and New Mexico believe officials in Washington should consider agriculture, tourism, and energy production activities equally so that one does not come at the expense of any of the others. Colorado voters support equality over more heavily favoring one activity 57/33, Montana voters 62/28, and New Mexico voters 52/38.
Other key findings from the survey include:
Now is the time for westerners to call on Sen. Murkowski and her colleagues in Washington—as well as Obama Administration officials—to ensure America’s energy future sustains business-friendly policies in energy development, and is accountable to the values of the majority of westerners.