Poll Shows Californians as Green as Ever

California has long been ahead of the curve on environmental policy, and a new poll points to the reason: Citizens demand it. A poll released this week by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, based on more than 2,500 responses from speakers of five different languages, reveals a decisively green electorate. Some 55 percent believe that the environment should be a top priority, even at the risk of limiting economic growth. Air pollution ranked as a top worry across demographics, with blacks and Latinos more likely to say that it directly affects them. A stunning 81 percent supported the state’s efforts to force auto manufacturers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new cars by 2009, and 64 percent expressed interest in a hybrid. Of the green encouragement, state EPA chief Terry Tamminen said, “It is kind of like getting a Christmas card in July. You don’t make your policies based on polls, but it is nice to see the validation.”