Voters want EPA, not Congress, to set climate regs — poll

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Voters in 11 swing states said they would prefer that U.S. EPA set new standards for carbon emissions rather than leaving the task to Congress, according to a survey out today.

While the Hart Research Associates poll of 1,013 likely voters, commissioned by the League of Conservation Voters, found strong public support for new regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions, it also showed that those polled would prefer the rules be set by bureaucrats, and not politicians.

“The voters are much more inclined to trust the Environmental Protection Agency than they are to trust members of Congress,” Hart Research Associates President Geoff Garin said in a conference call.

Among those polled, 66 percent said they had “more trust” in EPA to determine regulations, while 12 percent said they had more trust in Congress.

The divisions were even starker among self-identified Democrats, who sided 86 percent with EPA and 4 percent with Congress. Republicans polled favored EPA 51 percent to 21 percent for Congress, and independents split 61 percent to 12 percent, respectively.

Garin noted that those polled may have been “amped up” in their distaste for Congress, given that the survey was conducted during the recent 16-day shutdown of the federal government. The closure of federal agencies occurred after the House and Senate failed to agree on a spending resolution before the beginning of the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

The survey also found widespread support for newly proposed carbon emission regulations, with 74 percent of those polled supporting the rules.

“The poll documents the degree to which this issue has ramifications for the way people vote,” Garin said.

The survey included about 150 participants each in Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina, and about 80 participants each in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire and Virginia.