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Reproduced from Gallup; Chart: Axios Visuals
Americans are more split on the question of prioritizing the environment over economic growth than they have been in years, which could be a good sign for public support of President Biden's climate and economic agenda.
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Driving the news: Historically, more people favor prioritizing the economy over the environment when unemployment is high, and the opposite when unemployment is low.
But when asked by Gallup last month, half of the respondents agreed that the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of curbing economic growth.
42% said the opposite in the annual poll — that economic growth should be given priority, even if the environment suffers some.
The 8 percentage point difference is the smallest it’s been since 2015.
Axios' Ben Geman and Andrew Freedman’s thought bubble: There’s little evidence that environmental protections are a brake on growth — and actual evidence shows that environmental protection and jobs growth can go hand in hand. It's not a choice between the two.
Why it matters: Ben writes that the findings suggest Biden has political running room to pursue his aggressive environmental and climate agenda because it’s happening alongside recent economic and job growth.
The White House is also extremely aware of the political peril around economic attacks on the plans, which is why they’re trying very hard to paint the infrastructure plan — stuffed with low-carbon energy and transit provisions — as a jobs plan, he adds.
What’s happening: President Biden’s infrastructure proposal (and larger macro level bet) is a blend of two of his top four priorities: climate change and the economy.
The White House is holding a virtual climate summit starting on Thursday as part of a larger plan to regain international credibility on climate action.
On Monday, President Biden held a second meeting with Congress to review his $2 trillion infrastructure plan, which some GOP have called a jobs killer — citing the Keystone XL oil pipeline cancellation is a sign of things to come.
Businesses stand ready: Hundreds of companies are signaling support for a clean-energy economy and are starting to prepare for regulatory changes as they look for ways to benefit from backing the larger infrastructure proposal.
ExxonMobil, for example, says it wants to collaborate on carbon capture and storage projects in Texas.
A group of 300-plus corporations and investors issued a letter last week calling for the administration to commit to cutting emissions to “at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.”
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