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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

For Immediate Release - April, 23 2008

Contacts:
Oliver Bernstein, 512.289.8618
David Willett, 202.675.6698 


New Sierra Club Poll Shows Hispanic Voters Concerned about
Global Warming and Energy
Groundbreaking Bendixen & Associates-Conducted Poll is the First-Ever National Survey of Hispanic Voters on Energy and Environmental Issues

Washington, D.C. - Hispanic voters are overwhelmingly concerned about energy, global warming and environmental issues and are willing to take action to find solutions, according to results of a Sierra Club-sponsored national poll released today and conducted by Bendixen & Associates. The first-ever national poll of Hispanics on environmental issues was conducted March 20-30, 2008, and it found that U.S. Hispanics - a growing and powerful demographic - are deeply connected to nature and are concerned about the environment enough to take action to protect their communities and their families.

To view detailed poll results,

Sergio Bendixen, pollster with Bendixen & Associates, said that the poll revealed that the overwhelming majority of Hispanic voters say that energy and environmental issues have a significant impact on their quality of life and the overall health of their family.

"Energy and global warming is viewed as one of the two most important environmental problems for Hispanic families, and four-fifths of these voters consider it to be a major problem," said Bendixen. "Hispanic voters across the nation recognize that they can help protect the environment through the personal choices they make."
 
The findings of the groundbreaking poll include strong evidence that Hispanic voters:

-Overwhelmingly (80%) said that energy and environmental issues have "a lot" or "some" impact on the quality of life and health of their families. These voters have a high level of exposure to toxic sites.
-Clearly (more than 90%) feel a moral responsibility to take care of God's creation on Earth, such as forests, oceans, lakes and rivers.
-View "energy and global warming" to be one of the two most important environmental problems for their families, with 80% of these voters considering it to be a major problem.
-Believe strongly (80%) that the government and big oil companies are most responsible for the rising price of gasoline and oil in the United States.
-Confidently (more than 80%) agree that "shifting to a new 'clean energy economy' could create millions of jobs, improve the quality of the environment and protect everyone's children."
-Recognize that they can help protect the environment through the personal choices they make.

"As a large and important constituency in the U.S., Hispanics can help craft solutions and influence key decisions that will create good jobs for Hispanic workers and cleaner neighborhoods for their families," said Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, which sponsored the poll. "We know that many Hispanic neighborhoods suffer disproportionately from environmental pollution and the effects of global warming, so it is particularly important that this community be fully engaged in the national dialogue."

"This survey confirms once again that environmental issues play an important role in the lives of Hispanic families. This is no surprise given that minorities are 73 percent more likely to live near air polluting facilities," said Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis, Vice Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials. "The good news is that this survey indicates that 90 percent of all Hispanic surveyed feel a moral responsibility to take action to do their part in improving the environment.
"I want to thank the Sierra Club for addressing the effects of global climate change on the Latino community," said Congressman Raśl M. Grijalva, Chairman, Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. "Both energy and climate change issues are rapidly developing into critical issues to both the American public and the global community. This study will undoubtedly reveal the communal concern for environmental issues held by Latino voters across the United States."

The national poll of 1000 registered Hispanic voters was conducted by professionally trained bilingual interviewers in either English or Spanish, depending on the respondent's preference. The margin of error is three percentage points.

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