Majority of Americans back Obama plan — NRDC-backed poll

Source: Jason Plautz, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, July 19, 2013

More than 60 percent of Americans support President Obama’s effort to combat climate change, although support for individual components of his plan is even higher, according to results of a poll released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Sixty-six percent of those polled said climate change is a very serious or somewhat serious problem, including 46 percent of Republicans.

And 61 percent of those polled said they support Obama’s plan to address climate change, including greenhouse gas emission standards for power plants, fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and energy efficiency standards for household appliances. Eighty-six percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents expressed support for the overall plan.

Thirty-two percent of Republicans said they support the plan, compared to 51 percent who said they oppose it.

“Across our country, Americans feel obligated to protect future generations from the damaging effects of climate change,” said Peter Altman, director of NRDC’s Climate and Clean Air Campaign. “Americans also overwhelmingly support President Obama’s plan to do something about climate change now. Most importantly, they stand strongly behind the president’s common-sense solutions, led by using the Clean Air Act to clean up dirty power plants.”

But individual elements of the plan netted much higher support, including 79 percent support for vehicle fuel efficiency standards and 78 percent backing investment in renewable energy.

Nearly every element of the Obama plan drew majority support from Republicans. Only having U.S. EPA set pollution standards on power plants dipped below 50 percent approval — with 49 percent of Republicans expressing support and 45 percent opposed

The poll was conducted by Hart Research Associates, which generally works with Democrats, and Chesapeake Beach Consulting, a Republican firm, on behalf of NRDC. The survey featured telephone interviews of 808 people between July 1 and July 7. The error margin was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.