Voters overwhelmingly want to see the country move away from coal and toward renewable energy, and they believe the government should be taking more action to combat climate disruption, according to a new national survey for the Sierra Club conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. As a result, voters show very strong support for new EPA limits on carbon pollution from power plants, support which holds up after voters hear pros and cons about the proposal, including strong arguments from opponents of the plan on its potential impact on jobs and energy prices.
Other key findings include:
- The EPA gets very solid favorability ratings. Forty-four percent of voters give the EPA a warm, favorable rating compared to only 27 percent who give the agency a cool, unfavorable rating. By comparison, the ratings for the U.S. Congress are severely underwater (13 percent favorable, 64 percent unfavorable).
- By more than a 2-to-1 margin, voters believe that climate disruption is a serious problem and they believe that the federal government should be doing more, not less, to address it. Two-thirds say climate disruption is a serious problem, and by a 50 to 19 percent margin, voters think the federal government should be doing more to address the problem.
- Voters believe, incorrectly, that the federal government already regulates carbon pollution. A majority of voters incorrectly believe that the government currently regulates carbon pollution, while just 28 percent correctly understand that there are currently no regulations on the amount of carbon pollution power plants can release.
- Seventy percent of voters support the President's proposal to have the EPA set new limits on carbon pollution. Key demographic groups, including millennials, African Americans, Hispanics, moderates, and Midwestern voters, strongly support the plan.
- Support holds after pros and cons about the debate. Support for EPA carbon limits holds steady at 70 percent after voters hear pros and cons about the proposal, including strong arguments against the plan centered on its potential impact on energy prices.
- Voters overwhelmingly believe that the proposal will make a positive impact on public health and climate disruption. Nearly 7 in 10 voters (69 percent) think the plan will help public health, and 57 percent think it will help reduce climate disruption. Meanwhile, 58 percent of voters reject the notion that the plan would harm the economy.
Click here to read the results and full analysis from the survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.