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New Poll: Majority Supports Obama Climate Action Plan

Cutting pollution from power plants is one of the goals of the Climate Action PlanCourtesy of: whitehouse.gov

Cutting pollution from power plants is one of the goals of the Climate Action PlanCourtesy of: whitehouse.gov


July 23, 2013

FRANKFORT, Ky. - It's been almost a month since President Obama announced that he's not waiting for Congress to do something about climate change. He is using his executive powers to curb the pollution that contributes to it, and Americans seem to be glad he's doing that. When pollsters told voters about all its elements, 61 percent said they support the president's Climate Action Plan.

According to Howard Learner, founder and president of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, he expects support to grow even stronger.

"As people see that cars and trucks are becoming more efficient, as people see some of the old coal plant dinosaurs either cleaning up or retiring, I think you're going to see a lot of members of the public saying, this makes sense."

Even after being given the arguments for and against the plan, the voters supported it by a nearly two-to-one margin.

Learner said voters approved when they heard that, as well as limiting pollution from power plants, Obama's plan would invest more in wind and solar power generation. He said states in the Midwest and Great Plains will benefit economically, describing that region as "the Saudi Arabia of wind power."

However, he said, the news isn't so good for a coal-dependent state such as Kentucky.

"When the federal government says it's time to focus on reducing pollution that causes climate change, nuclear wins, wind power wins in a big way, solar wins, energy efficiency wins, natural gas does well; coal does not."

Even though the poll showed bipartisan support for most elements in the Climate Action plan, Senate Republicans have introduced legislation to stop the EPA from regulating carbon emissions from power plants. But Learner believes the President's move is an important kick-starter for the clean-energy industry.

Lauren McGrath of the Sierra Club Cumberland Chapter stated that Kentucky has to look at diversifying its energy sources or it will "get left behind."

"It's not an overnight thing," she said. "It's a start-small, end-reasonable approach and taking baby steps now to ensure that our energy portfolio is diversified, that we have more jobs in different sectors of the energy economy here in Kentucky."

Poll results are at goo.gl/0yusfS.
Climate plan is at goo.gl/lspT2.
More information is at ELPC.org.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY
 

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