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Expand chart
Data: Global strategy Group on behalf of Breakthrough Energy; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

New polling data released today by Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy finds spending public money on clean tech in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions is extremely popular nationwide.

Why it matters: Congress is writing legislation that would direct the largest amount ever spent in the U.S. on clean tech research, development and deployment. The polling supports the position of Senators seeking to pass this legislation.

What they did: Pollsters from the Global Strategy Group asked respondents if they think it is important to spend money to develop steel and cement manufacturing processes that are carbon-free, to produce clean jet fuels, and develop direct air capture technology to take carbon out of the air and safely store it deep underground.

What they found: When asked if they support investing $75 billion in clean energy technology, battleground state swing voters indicated their support by more than a two-to-one margin.

  • Interestingly, out of the specific technologies, direct air capture had the least support, though still a majority, with 71% of national voters saying it's important for the government to invest in it.
  • Clean tech spending holds a wide 40-point margin of support among voters who voted for different presidential candidates in 2016 and 2020.
  • Voters see clean tech investments as a way to create new blue-collar jobs, matching the rhetoric coming from the Biden administration.
  • The results also align with the priorities of Breakthrough Energy, which is pursuing investments in technologies that are high risk but also high reward.

Yes, but: The poll sample is relatively small, with 801 voters sampled for the national results and 3,112 voters in six key 2022 battleground Senate states.

  • The margin of error is 3.5% for the nationwide sample and 1.8% for the combined Senate battleground.

Go deeper

New gerrymander weapon

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Partisan map-makers are considering not just voter registration but planning and zoning data to decide how new congressional districts can be drawn to help or hurt their candidates not just now but in the future.

Why it matters: High technology and the "big sort" of like-minded voters grouping together can make gerrymandering less conspicuous this year — even if it still exists.

Updated Oct 19, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A Hard Truths event on the tech industry

On Tuesday, October 19th, Axios Editor-in-Chief Sara Kehaulani Goo and chief technology correspondent Ina Fried examined the current inequities within hiring practices, workplace culture and development in the tech industry today, featuring Girls Who Code CEO Dr. Tarika Barrett and TechEquity Collaborative founder & CEO Catherine Bracy.

Dr. Tarika Barrett explained how to engage and empower young girls to learn tech skills, how the pandemic exacerbated access to educational tools, and how big tech companies can address the industry’s gender gap.

  • On empowering the next generation of tech leaders: “Having more representation of women and people of color in tech in particular, can actually be the difference we need to empower a pipeline of young people and girls of color to pursue the tech careers of the future.”
  • On the gender gap in the tech industry: “As we are simultaneously addressing this growing gender gap in tech and trying to prepare our girls and young women for these thriving, exciting careers of the future, we also know that it’s within an industry that continues to sometimes be the source of negative news and troubling instances of discrimination.”

Catherine Bracy highlighted how tech platforms and their business models affect the broader economic well-being of a community, and the importance of improving working conditions for different tiers of workers at tech companies.

  • On inequities for contracted employees at tech companies: “We have done research that shows that not only are they treated differently because of labor laws and whatever else, but they are also more likely to be members of underrepresented minority groups.”
  • On how tech companies can better support contracted workers: “We do think that if they’re going to contract out, that they should ensure with the vendors that they’re using to provide this workforce, that those workers have an equal level of protection, benefits, stability as their full-time workforce. I feel like that’s the least that they can do.”

Axios Chief People Officer Dominique Taylor hosted a View from the Top segment with Goldman Sachs Chief Operating Officer for Global Investment Research Gizelle George-Joseph, who spoke about how structural barriers affect labor market opportunities for minority communities.

  • “We talk about education, and six decades after Brown vs. Board of Education, 70% of Black students still attend a school where the majority of students are non-white. All of these have really broad repercussions for Black women and very large negative impacts on college graduation rates, on the labor market, and ultimately on our life outcomes.”

Thank you Goldman Sachs for sponsoring this event.

Biden's pick to lead major banking regulator drops out

Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, at a confirmation hearing on Nov. 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's pick to head one of the country's most powerful banking regulators is dropping out of consideration for the post, according to a statement from Biden that accepted the withdrawal.

Why it matters: Saule Omarova, nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, faced a tough path to confirmation — with opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

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