Environmental Rollbacks are Out of Step with What Minnesotans Want, Says New Research

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St. Paul, Minn. (March 1, 2017) —  At the same time when Minnesota Legislators are debating a torrent of rollbacks a new poll shows that Minnesotans of all backgrounds and regions are concerned about our environmental protections and don’t want to see proposals that would roll back those protections.

The Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP) released a statewide public opinion research poll today. According to the results, nearly three in four Minnesotans (74%) are concerned about rollbacks of our law s that protect our land, air, and water.

“Over the past seven weeks, we’ve seen a torrent of proposals in the Minnesota Legislature rolling back our environmental safeguards that protect the air we breathe, water we drink, and land we use,” said MEP Executive Director Steve Morse. “There have been dozens of proposed rollbacks to our water quality standards; clean, renewable energy systems; equitable transportation options; and more.

“Minnesota voters from all across the state are looking for bold leaders, who stand up for our natural resources, not ones who compromise our core Minnesota values.”

Laws should be tougher_better enforced

The survey of 502 Minnesotans was conducted February 1-5, 2017, by a bipartisan team — Public Opinion Strategies, which conducts polling for Republican candidates, and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, which specializes in polling for Democratic candidates — includes a 5.3% margin of statewide sampling error.The poll conducted additional surveys in rural Minnesota to gain a more complete picture of public attitudes in these regions of the state.

The study found that:

  • Minnesotans broadly agree that we need more environmental protections, not fewer, with 62% agreeing that our environmental laws should be tougher or better enforced.
  • Statewide, 70% of voters would view their legislator less favorably if their legislator voted to weaken environmental laws. The study showed little difference in voters from rural Minnesota (69%) vs those from more urban areas (71%).
  • Water pollution and disappearing pollinators rank as Minnesota’s most urgent environmental concerns.
  • The Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment has seen growing overwhelming support. The Amendment passed with a 56-39 margin in 2008, and today, three out of four (75%) of Minnesotans support the Legacy Amendment.
  • 81% of Minnesotans are concerned about runoff from farms polluting Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams.
  • 83% of Minnesotans support the phasing out of the use of pesticides proven to harm pollinators.

Download the full 2017 Minnesota Environmental Partnership Public Opinion Poll results.


Minnesota Environmental Partnership is a statewide coalition of more than 70 environmental and conservation organizations working together for clean water, clean energy and protection of our Great Outdoors. The Minnesota Environmental Partnership engages state leaders, unites environmental efforts and helps citizens take action for the Minnesota they love.

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