Oregon voters favor coal exports

Moore Information

Moore Insight: A Plurality of Oregon Voters Favor Coal Exports

In a recent survey of Oregon voters Moore Information asked respondents several questions about coal exports.

  • Thirty-five percent of voters recall recent news coverage about coal exports, despite a significant amount of coverage in the news.  Awareness is higher in the Portland metro area and Willamette Valley than elsewhere in the state.
  • Exporting coal mined in the U.S. to other countries from ports in Oregon is favored by 46%, opposed by 31%, and 22% have no opinion. Support is highest outside the Portland metro area and Willamette Valley, among men and among Republicans. A plurality of Independent/non-affiliated voters are also supportive, and Democrats are evenly divided between support and opposition.  Recall of recent news about coal exports does not impact support or opposition.

  • Approximately four-in-ten voters (38%) have no concerns about exporting coal from Oregon ports.  Among those who do, the leading concerns about coal exports include a desire to keep coal in the U.S. “for our own needs” (21%), increased strip mining (16%), “other countries will be contributing to global warming by using U.S. coal” (9%) and “coal dust blowing off rail cars” (8%).  Among voters who oppose coal exports from Oregon ports, the leading concerns are the desire to keep U.S. coal in the U.S., distantly followed by concerns about strip mining and global warming.

Concerns about Coal Exports
“Which one of the following, if any, concerns you most about exporting coal mined in
the United States from ports in Oregon?”

The survey was conducted via telephone, among a representative sample of 400 registered voters statewide in Oregon, May 16-17, 2012.  The sampling error is plus or minus 5% at the 95% confidence level.