Study Highlights Urban-Rural Divide Over the Environment

Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions issued a new study on the rural and urban divide over environmental issues.  The study indicated rural voters have a deep distrust of the federal government, which explains their split with urban folks on environmental policy.  The study added rural Americans are extremely important when it comes to the fate of U.S. environmental policy. After all, farmers, ranchers, and forest owners manage a huge part of America’s lands and watersheds.


The study finds that 70% of rural people express their support for conserving natural resources, a percentage that’s consistent with those from more urban areas.  However, a stark contrast comes to light when each side is asked about the preferred level of government oversight on the environment.  40% of rural voters support less government oversight of the environment and conservation, while 47% of urban voters support more government oversight.


“My hope is that this will help us understand how to engage with rural constituencies,” says Robert Bonnie, who led the study. “This data shows there is an approach to national climate legislation that empowers states and local government because folks seem more comfortable with that.”


Click Here to read the entire study.



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