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Survey: Strong Support for Action to Reduce Carbon Pollution

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Monday, May 18, 2009   

Washington, D.C. – With the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee expected to mark up the American Clean Energy and Security Act this week, the Pew Environment Group is releasing new bipartisan survey findings that show strong support for action to create clean energy jobs, energy independence, and a reduction in carbon pollution. Phyllis Cuttino, who directs the Pew Environment Group's U.S. global warming campaign, says the survey was conducted jointly by the Mellman Group, which is a leading Democratic firm, and Public Opinion Strategies, a prominent Republican firm. She says it shows that 77 percent of voters want action to reduce carbon pollution.

"The American voter believes very strongly that global warming is happening. It's happening now, and they want members of Congress and this government to take action to reduce global warming emissions."

Chris Hesla, executive director of the South Dakota Wildlife Federation, says global warming is a real issue facing South Dakotans. He says a one-degree increase in temperature would be devastating to the state's most vulnerable prairie pothole wetland ecosystem, a primary breeding ground for North American waterfowl. Hesla says the state could preserve its wildlife resources, create new jobs, and be a big player in solving global warming issues by rebuilding infrastructure with clean energy alternatives.

"One of the best things to start with is probably to clean up the pollutants that come out of our power plants that burn coal. You know, there's technology now out there that can scrub them to where they're a lot better for the environment than they are now. Wind energy and local types of energy are the best future that we have; I think we need to focus on those in the next 20 to 25 years."

Cuttino says the bi-partisan survey shows that 63 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of independents, and 73 percent of Democrats believe jobs that improve energy efficiency are "very important" to helping the economy over the next 10 to 15 years. 59 percent of all voters surveyed said they believe efforts to tackle global warming will create new American jobs, with 61 percent believing the U.S. economy will be stronger if it becomes less dependent on oil and coal and more dependent on alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind and biofuels.

A summary of the polls is at www.pewglobalwarming.org


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