Poll: Strong support for EPA Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution

economic-forecast-headerAmericans United for Change hosted a press conference call Wednesday to announce results of new Public Policy Polling surveys in eight battleground states showing great voter concern about climate change and strong support for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan seeking to slash harmful carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent by 2030.

States surveyed include: Virginia, Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. Climate advocates called on Republican Attorney Generals preparing to sue the EPA over the new public health standards and the do-nothing Republicans in Congress to stop putting polluters over people and act on climate change.

Among the findings by Tom Jensen, Director of Public Policy Polling, in his summary memo include:

  • There is widespread support for the EPA’s new plan to limit carbon pollution from power plants. Voters in all states, age groups, Democrats and Independents support the Clean Power Plan. Overall, 58% support the plan, while 40% oppose it after hearing arguments for and against the plan.
  • Voters across all 8 swing states and in all age groups consider climate change a serious problem. Democrats (77/22) are very concerned about climate change, with independents (55/44) in agreement. 37% of Republicans consider it serious while 62% don’t. There are more Republicans concerned about climate change than Democrats who are unconcerned.
  • When asked if they agree with Mitch McConnell’s urging the states to ignore the EPA and not develop a plan to cut carbon pollution, the answer was a resounding no: only 31% think states should drag their feet on implementation of new clean power plans; 59% say states should move forward and develop a plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.
  • Supporting climate change measures isn’t a particularly risky move for members of Congress. 63% say they would either be more likely to support their member or it would make no difference if they supported the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. This holds true in each state surveyed. Even Republicans say they would either be more likely to support their members in the future or it would make no difference: 47% total compared to 43% who would be more likely to oppose.

The PPP polls were commissioned by AUFC and come as the group continues an aggressive paid digital ad campaign this week exposing the “Unprecedented, Secretive Alliance” between the anti-EPA GOP Attorneys General and their Big Oil donors and helping voters make their voice heard with a new website: www.PollutersOverPeople.com  The efforts also follow AUFC’s recent TV ads in Iowa and New Hampshire pushing GOP Presidential hopefuls to answer Pope Francis’ urgent moral call to address climate change over the Koch brothers’ calls to protect their bottom line.

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: ‘Republicans who say no to the President’s Clean Power Plan are saying no to the average American saving nearly $85 a year on their energy bill, no to preventing health impacts like asthma attacks, lung cancer, heart attacks other air pollution-related illnesses, no to preventing 3,600 premature deaths every year, and no to  250,000 new jobs. What is especially troubling is the fact that so many Republican Attorneys General have been working hand in hand with oil lobbyists to launch a barrage of legal challenges against the EPA in an effort to let the Koch brothers and Big Oil off the hook for their leading role in climate change. The oil industry already has plenty of high-powered legal representation, but who’s representing the public interest when a state’s attorney general is sitting on Big Oil’s defense team? It’s time Buddy Caldwell start putting people before polluters.”

Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Vice President for Campaigns, League of Conservation Voters:Another recent poll conducted by a Republican polling firm American Viewpoint of Republican primary voters in the critical early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina found that there may be a disconnect between many presidential candidates and likely primary voters.  Primary voters in both states want their candidates to have a clean energy plan, and favor more investment in wind and solar power than in coal or oil.  Though the vast majority of these respondents were conservative, a majority do not want to weaken environmental safeguards. A solid majority of these Republican primary voters believe climate change is underway and want to limit carbon pollution.  A majority of them favor the Clean Power Plan. Clearly, their party’s candidates are out of touch with voters on these issues.”

Debbie Sease, National Campaign Director for the Sierra Club: “These polls make one thing crystal clear: anyone who is serious about winning an election in these key states must be serious about supporting the Clean Power Plan.”

Christopher Hale, Executive Director, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good: “President Obama’s latest action addressing global climate change is something that Pope Francis and the Catholic Church can applaud. Care for creation is at the heart of the Christian and other faith traditions.  Pope Francis spoke earlier this year about our global failure to live up to this mission. “Man has slapped God in the face,” the pope said. “We have taken possession of nature and Mother Earth. God always forgives; we men sometimes forgive; but nature never forgives. I believe that man has gone a bit too far. Thank God that today, many, many people are talking about it.” What so many politicians seems to misunderstand, but that Francis and the Church get is that protecting creation is first and foremost a religious issue. As presidential candidates from both parties gear up for 2016, perhaps it would be best if they spent less time lecturing Francis on what to talk about and spent more time heeding his words: “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor!”

“The jury is in on the consequences of climate change,” added Woodhouse. “2014 was the hottest year in recorded history and the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. It’s happening right before our eyes. We’re seeing more frequent and intense tornadoes and storms like Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina. And unlimited carbon pollution is contributing to more heart attacks, more lung cancer, more asthma attacks in children. We’ve got to do something, and thankfully the President didn’t wait on Republicans to act. Republicans didn’t want to listen to former U.S. Generals and Admirals who warned climate change is a serious and immediate national security threat. Republicans have blown off the 97 percent of the scientific community that agree that climate change is real and man-made. They choose to ignore the chorus of economists that say the President’s carbon action plan is good for the economy and jobs. They’ve ignored the Pope’s moral call to action.  What will it take to convince the Grand Oil Party to act: a climate event straight out of the Book of Genesis? Another Noah’s Ark?”

– Source: Americans United for Change

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