Most Americans support EPA plan to reduce emissions

January 19, 2015

ANN ARBOR—A majority of Americans say they support a plan proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.

A University of Michigan poll found that 67 percent support the Clean Power Plan. Slightly more Americans, 73 percent, support requiring significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, according to the National Surveys on Energy and Environment.

“When asked about specific policies states might use to reduce emissions under the plan, support was strongest for requiring energy efficiency standards for new homes and appliances, and renewable portfolio standards,” said Barry Rabe, U-M professor of public policy and director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy.

The survey is a joint effort of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at U-M’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Muhlenberg Institute of Public Opinion at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa.

Nearly 60 percent of Americans oppose increasing taxes on fossil fuels used to generate electricity and 45 percent oppose allowing businesses to buy and sell permits to release greenhouse gases.

The EPA plan seeks to reduce emissions from existing electricity-generating facilities by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The plan gives states latitude in crafting a plan to reach the target emission reductions assigned to each state.

The survey also found that 43 percent of respondents want their state to delay until more is known about the Clean Power Plan, 41 percent want their state to cooperate with the federal government, and 9 percent want their state to refuse to cooperate and join other states in suing the federal government to attempt to block it.

The random telephone survey of 942 American adults was conducted Oct. 6-Nov. 6, 2014. The survey had a margin of error of 3.5 percent.


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