By Molly Messick
Laramie, Wyo. – A Colorado College survey finds a great deal of support for strong environmental standards and enforcement of existing regulation across five western states.
The poll, conducted early this year, evaluated the views of voters in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico on a broad range of issues related to conservation, energy and regulation.
For the most part, views were consistent across the polling area. But Wyoming was an outlier in a couple of respects.
For example, Wyoming voters tend to view oil and coal nearly as positively as they view renewable energy sources. Dave Metz of the polling firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates helped to conduct the survey.
"In most states what we saw was a real marked preference for solar power and wind power," says Metz. "Far higher preference for those sources of energy as compared to coal or to oil. And in Wyoming those differences were much more modest. There was still a preference for the renewable sources but there was almost as strong a positive sentiment for coal and for oil as well."
In addition to that difference, a slimmer majority of Wyoming voters favor Environmental Protection Agency regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Nevertheless, in Wyoming that proposition garnered support from 56 percent of registered voters - still a relatively high number.