17 Nov 2008 New Poll Finds that Majority of African-Americans Oppose Public Lands Bill
Will African-Americans Continue to be Taken for Granted Even After Historic Election? Vote on Harry Reid’s Omnibus Public Lands Bill Will be Key Test
Washington, DC – Senator Harry Reid’s effort to pass the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act this week will be a key test of whether congressional liberals continue to take African-American support for granted, says the Washington, DC-based National Center for Public Policy Research.
The Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, an amalgamation of more than 100 bills that would place new restrictions on energy exploration, home construction, and business activity, has been scheduled by Harry Reid (D-NV) for a vote during this week’s special lame duck session of the Senate.
The bill would restrict use of millions of additional acres of land, both public and private, through the creation of new National Heritage Areas (a program creating de facto federal zoning), new wilderness area designations, and management practices that would clear the way for special protections for so-called “view scapes,” “sound scapes,” and even “smell scapes.”
But according to a new poll just released this morning by The National Center for Public Policy Research’s Public Opinion and Policy Center, 52% of African-Americans oppose the legislation while only 37% support it.
“This is a key test of whether liberal politicians listen to African-Americans who cast 95% of their votes for Barack Obama and accounted for nearly one-quarter of all of President-elect Obama’s votes,” said David A. Ridenour, vice president of The National Center. “Black Americans don’t want more land locked up if it means restricting energy development and home construction, driving up the price of both. And that’s precisely what this bill would do.”
Minorities are particularly vulnerable to home price increases and prices would likely rise following National Heritage Area designation.
An econometric study previously commissioned by The National Center noted, “The weight of increased home prices falls most heavily on minorities, the disadvantaged and the young, fewer of whom already own homes. The ‘haves’ who already own homes ride the price bubble created by restricted growth policies while the dream of ownership moves further away from the ‘have-nots.'”
The poll surveyed 800 African-American adults and has a margin of error of +-3.46%.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, non-profit educational foundation based in Washington, DC. It has joined Americans for Tax Reform and over 100 other organizations in raising concerns about the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act (see http://www.atr.org/content/pdf/2008/nov/110608lt_coalitionom.pdf).
For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 ext. 11.