News Archive for September, 2013

For Immediate Release: September 17, 2013

FM3 Poll: Majorities Oppose Coal Shipments

From a September 16 article by John Stark in the Bellingham Herald:

The Power Past Coal group has unveiled a new poll of 1,200 likely voters (600 in Washington, 600 in Oregon) showing a majority in both states are opposed to plans to ship coal by rail to new marine export terminals.

Read the poll results here.

The poll was conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

Earlier polls tended to show that supporters of coal export terminals, including the Gateway Pacific Terminal that SSA Marine wants to build in Whatcom County, outnumbered opponents. Power Past Coal spokespersons contend that the new poll shows opposition is growing.

For our earlier report on past polls, click here. In that earlier report, I noted that the wording of key questions may play a significant role in determining responses, especially among respondents who have not followed the issue closely. Here is the key question asked in the newest poll:

“Coal companies propose to ship millions of tons of coal per year through Washington along the Columbia River and through Puget Sound on trains and tankers to Asia, where the coal would be burned in coal-fired power plants. The coal trains would have uncovered rail cars. Would you support or oppose transporting coal through Washington to export to Asia?”

(Oregon was substituted for Washington as appropriate, according to pollsters.)

For Immediate Release: September 15, 2013

Washington and Oregon Voters’ Attitudes Toward Coal Shipping and Export

Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) recently completed two parallel surveys of 600 voters in Washington and Oregon likely to vote in the November 2014 election. Overall, the survey found that a majority of voters in both Washington and Oregon oppose proposals to ship coal along rail lines through their home states for the purposes of export to Asia. Majorities of moderate, independent and liberal voters in both states expressed opposition. Additionally, opposition has grown in both states by double digits since the summer of 2012.

For key specific findings of the survey, please click here.


For Immediate Release: September 13, 2013

FM3 Poll: Overwhelming Support for Our National Forests

From a September 12 National Forest Foundation press release via Business Wire:

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) announced today results of a new nationwide survey of voters revealing strong personal connections many Americans have with the National Forests and the benefits these lands provide.

These connections are so strong that four in five voters polled said despite federal budget problems, funding to safeguard National Forests should not be cut. Even more impressive, seven in 10 Americans said they would support a small increase in taxes in order to provide additional funding to restore damaged forest land and conserve additional lands.

Key findings from the bipartisan poll, conducted in partnership with research firms Public Opinion Strategies and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, are noted below:

  • 81 percent of Americans across the political spectrum believe funding of National Forests should not be cut, despite federal budget problems.
    • 74 percent of Republicans surveyed
    • 80 percent of Independents surveyed
    • 89 percent of Democrats surveyed
  • 72 percent of voters surveyed would support additional funding to maintain and restore National Forest lands even if it meant a small tax increase.
    • Such supporters include groups that are traditionally more tax sensitive: 63 percent of seniors and 56 percent of conservatives said they would support additional funding even if it meant a small tax increase.
  • 83 percent of voters agree that conserving America’s land, air and water is patriotic.
  • Seven in 10 American voters from across the political spectrum agreed that one of the things the U.S. government does best is protect and preserve the country’s natural heritage through National Forests.

“The NFF has long recognized Americans’ personal connections to their National Forests through our work bringing people together to restore and enhance these public lands. This survey not only reveals these connections, but also shows there is strong support for funding of National Forest land and water,” said Bill Possiel, President of the National Forest Foundation.

“More than 160 million people visited a National Forest last year, generating $13 billion for the U.S. economy and helping sustain 223,000 jobs in local communities. This survey illustrates that respondents believe our National Forests have an impact on their overall well-being, and they appreciate the environmental benefits these forests provide.”

This expression of voter support for the National Forests comes at a time when funds are being diverted from forest restoration, wildfire prevention and other categories in the U.S. Forest Service budget in order to bridge the gap in funding needed to fight wildfires. In fact, this year the Forest Service has already allocated $1.5 billion to fire-related activities, $600 million more than anticipated.