Poll: Marylanders favor job creation over environmental protection

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More than four in five Maryland voters think Governor Martin O’Malley’s administration should give a higher priority to creating jobs over reducing pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, according to a new poll.

The poll by Gonzales Research & Marketing Inc. – and commissioned by the Maryland State Builders Association – found that 57 percent of Marylanders believe economic growth should be given priority even if the environment suffers to some extent, while 33 percent believe the environment should be given priority even at the risk of slowing the economy.

The telephone poll of 802 registered voters who regularly also asked about several other issues related to the economy and the environment, finding:

• 47 percent of Marylanders believe runoff from agricultural fertilizers has the m ost negative impact on the Chesapeake Bay, while 17 percent believe sewage plant have the biggest impact.

• About a third of Marylanders say the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Bay cleanup program should be funded with tax increases and user fees, and slightly less than a third say the program should be funded entirely by user fees. The poll found 28 percent say Bay cleanup should be funded with existing resources.

• To pay for Bay cleanup and restoration, 27 percent of Marylanders say they would be willing to pay between $1 and $100 in additional taxes and fees, and 8 percent would be willing to pay between $101 and $249 more per year. The poll found 53 percent are not willing to pay any additional amount.

• Almost two-thirds of Marylanders support additional restrictions on household fertilizers in light of research showing fertilizer and chemical lawn treatments on residential properties are a significant source of Chesapeake Bay pollution; 29 percent oppose additional restrictions.

The poll, conducted from Jan. 13 through Jan. 19, has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

To read the complete poll memo from Gonzales Research to the Maryland State Builders Association, click here.

To read the press release from the Maryland State Builders Association on the poll, click here.
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