PNS Daily Newscast - September 20, 2019 

A whistleblower complaint against President Trump sets off tug-of-war between Congress and the White House; and students around the world strike today to demand action on climate change.

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Climate change is a big issue this election season, and global climate strikes kick off, while UAW labor strikes continue.

Daily Newscasts

Poll Shows Huge Public Support for Climate Pact

RGGI states have been working to reduce carbon emissions from power plants for 10 years. (Dori/Wikimedia Commons)
RGGI states have been working to reduce carbon emissions from power plants for 10 years. (Dori/Wikimedia Commons)
August 12, 2016

NEW YORK - A new Sierra Club poll shows New Yorkers overwhelmingly support the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and also support doubling its annual carbon-reduction goal. The RGGI turns 10 years old next week.

Nine northeastern states, including New York, agreed to reduce their carbon emissions by two-and-a-half percent a year. The poll, sponsored by the Sierra Club showed across the region, the majority of voters from both major political parties support the agreement.

Pollster Jay Campbell, the senior vice president with Hart Research Associates, said the results were decisive.

"Fully 77 percent say that they support it, including 47 percent who say they strongly support it; whereas only 14 percent oppose," he said. "That's a five-and-a-half to one margin."

Overall, 88 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans polled said they consider climate change to be a serious problem.

A recent analysis found that RGGI states will need to double the cuts to carbon emissions from power plants, to five-percent a year from 2020 to 2030, to meet their overall reduction goals. And Mark Kresowik, the eastern region deputy director of the Sierra Club's "Beyond Coal" Campaign, said that would do more than fight climate change.

"Doing so would create, on average, nearly 60,000 new jobs per year, and save customers from this year until 2030 more than $25 billion in the region," he said.

The RGGI state leadership is now debating the future of the program and setting the next phase of carbon reduction goals for the region.

Campbell noted that support for raising the reduction goal to five-percent a year is just as strong among voters.

"In every one of our key states, with the exception of New Hampshire, support actually ticked up a couple of points, and people were even more likely to support this change than they are to support RGGI involvement overall," Campbell added.

Though northeastern states tend to be more liberal, Campbell said other polls indicate two-thirds of voters nationwide believe climate change to be a serious threat.

The full results can be read here.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY