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The vigilante accused of holding migrants at border to appear in court today. Also on our Monday rundown: The US Supreme Court takes up including citizenship questions on the next census this week. Plus, Earth Day finds oceans becoming plastic soup.

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Big Issue for Young Republicans? Climate Change

A new survey shows two-thirds of young Republican voters believe humans are to blame for climate change. (Charity Nix/flickr)
A new survey shows two-thirds of young Republican voters believe humans are to blame for climate change. (Charity Nix/flickr)
September 30, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. – Young conservatives overwhelmingly feel man-made climate change is a real problem, according to new national poll. These GOP voters strongly favor renewable energy. The survey of a thousand Republicans ages 18 to 35 was commissioned by Young Conservatives for Energy Reform. Four out of five polled think the climate is changing, and two-thirds blame human activity, in part or entirely.

The group's founder and chair, Michele Combs, said these voters put as much importance on climate change as they did on abortion or gay marriage a few years ago.

"The young Republicans embrace this issue," she said. "They see this issue as a core value issue, that maybe in the '90s would have been the life issue or the marriage issue. They put this issue in that same category."

The GOP platform reflects the view that environmental regulations are slowing growth. But the poll found young conservatives view the EPA and environmental groups slightly more favorably than the coal or nuclear industries.

The poll found young conservative voters favor decentralized, market-based solutions, and the renewable-energy industry comes across the best of any in the survey. Combs said support for her group's position has grown quickly since the organization was founded.

"Eight years ago, if you'd have told me we'd have brought over 500 young Republicans, young conservatives, to a clean-energy summit, I'd have been, like, 'You're crazy. Who are you even going to get there, you know?' And now, we're there from all around the country," Combs said.

GOP nominee Donald Trump has charged that climate change is a hoax. Combs said she feels Trump is smart enough to eventually see it as a legitimate threat, and in the meantime, the group is putting its energy toward the future rather than this year's race.

"I think this is the future of the party," she added. "The presidential campaign is not what we're focusing on. We're focusing on the grassroots."

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ND