Poll finds climate action support despite opposition 

By Mary Kuhlman
  • MGDboston/morguefile.com

Some of Indiana's leaders have voiced outspoken opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants, but a new poll indicates a majority of voters don't share those views.

Melissa Williams, national political director for the Sierra Club, says the group's new post-election poll of voters in six key states finds, regardless of who they supported in the 2014 midterm election, most want congressional action to address climate change.

"Support for this plan is extremely high," says Williams. "It includes large majorities of Independents and many Republicans. It's clear the voters want action on this, and they support the President's plan and that means the Senate should get behind that as well."

The EPA's Clean Power Plan calls for a 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions from power plants by 2030. Indiana's U.S. senators and governor have argued that the regulations are costly, but others have said the new rules would help the economy.

The Department of Energy says Indiana is strong in clean energy manufacturing, renewables and energy-efficiency technologies that support at least 53,000 jobs.

Voters in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Pennsylvania were surveyed. Williams says the results are a solid representation of how various regions of the country feel about action on climate change.

"Of course every state is different," Williams says. "But the numbers across theses states are so consistent that I don't think there's reason to think that it would be markedly different in other places."

In each state polled, Williams says they found at least 63 percent of voters favor candidates who accept the scientific facts about climate change over those who do not. She adds the results send a strong message to Congress.

"Folks who think it's unnecessary are ignoring what's happening around them," Williams says. "Our climate has changed and this is something we don't have a lot of time to wait on."

The public comment period on the EPA's Clean Power Plan ends Dec. 1.

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