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NC Voters to Tillis: Address Carbon Pollution

PHOTO: A majority of North Carolina voters on both sides of the political fence favors actions to protect communities from climate change, according to a new Sierra Club poll. Photo credit: Aaron Hartley.
PHOTO: A majority of North Carolina voters on both sides of the political fence favors actions to protect communities from climate change, according to a new Sierra Club poll. Photo credit: Aaron Hartley.
November 24, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. - Today the results of a post-election poll send what environmental advocates call a "clear message" to North Carolina's elected leaders including Senator-elect Thom Tillis. The Sierra Club survey finds a majority of voters, including members of both parties, want Tillis to support efforts to protect their communities from climate change.

Melissa Williams, national political director with the Sierra Club, says voters also indicated they favor new carbon pollution limits for existing coal-fired power plants, a plan the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to fine-tune by the end of the year.

"Sixty-four percent of voters favor the EPA's plan," says Williams. "I think it's clear voters in North Carolina want action on this and don't want to wait."

In addition to addressing pollution with new EPA carbon limits, 63 percent of the state's voters say they would be more likely to support a candidate who favors increasing renewable energy use.

Williams says while it may be no surprise that Democrats support action to tackle climate change by 83 percent, almost half of Republicans polled who voted for Tillis also support action to protect the state's environment and wildlife.

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

Williams and others point to North Carolina's potential in the renewable energy sector, particularly solar power, which has grown at a rate of 127 percent in recent years.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC