Chapter 7: The effect of public opinion on environmental policy in the face of the environmental countermovement
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Researchers concerned with U.S. environmental policy have long studied the factors associated with political representatives' tendency to vote pro-environment. This work has increasingly pitted the interests of representatives' constituents against those of business elites. Yet little research exists that explores the relative influence of public opinion and businesses political donations on representatives' pro-environmental records. This chapter answers three questions: 1) To what extent do different industries' political contributions effect representatives' proclivity to vote for or against environmental policies; 2) To what extend does public concern towards environmental issues, among representatives' constituents, influence that representatives' environmental voting; and 3) What is the relative influence of industries' political donations and public concern on representatives' support for environmental policies? We find that both industries' political donations and public concern for the environment influence representatives' pro-environmental voting records; however, the relative influence varies according to which industry donated and the representatives' political party.

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