New polling results released this month found that—despite what you may have heard—the American public broadly supports efforts to reduce global warming emissions from the nation’s power plants. And maybe even more surprising given the political narrative, that support transcends party lines.
Support for the Clean Power Plan
As discussed frequently on our blog, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed standards limiting carbon dioxide emissions from both new and existing power plants. The proposal for existing plants is better known as the Clean Power Plan. After an unprecedented outreach effort and an extended public comment period that generated a record number of comments (including ours), the agency is expected to finalize standards for both new and existing sources this summer.
The Republican-controlled Congress has made fighting the EPA’s proposals a central rallying cry. However, the new poll, conducted by the University of Michigan and Muhlenberg College, found “broad public support” for the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. Overall, of the 942 adults surveyed, 73 percent support limits on new power plants and 67 percent support the Clean Power Plan.
In fact, the poll shows support for the Clean Power Plan even among Republicans—60 percent of those polled strongly support or somewhat support the policy. The results echo the findings of previous surveys.
Independent and evidence-based
Funding for this survey came directly from the universities involved—the researchers do not accept “agenda-driven or advocacy-based funding.” This is in contrast to industry-funded studies that distort the facts on the ground. Case in point: a flawed and biased push poll commissioned by the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, an organization created just over year ago to provide a front for industry groups that oppose EPA’s proposal to limit power plant carbon emissions. Even that flawed survey found that respondents were more likely to support EPA if the proposal “could allow for the expansion of the green technology industry” (see p.4 within link).
So the next time your favorite legislator claims that the public does not support reducing global warming emissions, take it with a big grain of salt. Remember that Americans really get it and do support policies to reduce harmful emissions.