Black and Latino voters don’t care about climate change. Or, that’s what two new studies would have you believe.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal and Electricity, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hired the polling company Paragon Insights to conduct online interviews with 2,000 “Hispanic” registered voters, and roughly 2,300 registered black voters. The questions gauged both racial groups’ general feelings about politics as they head to the voting booths, but with more than a few questions specifically about the Obama administration’s new carbon regulations and energy costs. Their results:

  • “Jobs/economy ranks as the most important issue to African-American voters — climate change is last.” The same result was found in the Latino survey.
  • “African American voters are much more concerned with unemployment, lack of education, and income inequality than they are with climate change.” The same result found for Latinos.
  • “Almost two-thirds of African American voters are concerned about the impact of the EPA’s new regulations on climate change on energy costs.” For Latinos, it was 70 percent.
  • “More than three-fourths of African American voters say they are concerned about the increase in energy costs.” Same for Latinos.
  • “Nearly 6 in 10 African American voters want the Obama administration to keep energy prices low instead of issuing new climate change regulations.” The same ratio held for Latino voters.

It wasn’t all glum, the polling also found that “a majority” of African American and Latino voters say Obama’s climate change regs are important. But really, these polls tell us nothing. They might help create some good talking points for the commerce chambers to feed to the conservative candidates they finance, but there is no real knowledge to ascertain from these surveys, especially when it comes to race.

I can point to a few polls that provide the opposite results of what Paragon found. I wrote about one back in January, conducted by the polling company Latino Decisions. The researchers also targeted Latinos in North Carolina, Florida, and Colorado — all battleground states — on this issue a few weeks ago by phone, asking them:

Imagine one candidate strongly favored reducing pollution in the air and water, while another candidate opposed those efforts as bad for business. Would this difference make you much more likely to vote, somewhat more likely to vote, slightly more likely to vote, or have no effect on whether you choose to vote?

Far more said they were likely to support a candidate who favored reducing pollution in every state.

So which poll is correct? Do Latinos love or hate climate regulations? Well, much of the answer is based on how the question is framed. While Latino Decisions’ question focused on pollution, Paragon focused on pocketbooks. For Paragon’s stats that say six out of 10 voters want lower energy prices instead of new climate change regs, the question was: “Would you prefer to see the Obama Administration focus on keeping energy prices low or issue new regulations to combat climate change, regardless of how much electricity prices might increase?” As if we need to choose between one or the other.

They’re very different asks: Do you want a candidate that supports fighting pollution? Or the one who thinks that’s bad for business? Or the one who wants to keep energy prices low? And they all tell us nothing about how Latino people think about these issues on a daily basis. Same goes for black people. Perhaps the answer to all these questions is “Yes,” simultaneously. Black and Latino voters want our government to fight pollution, and to keep energy costs low, and to bring new climate change regulations.