From Green Right Now Reports

smokestack pollution promoA poll of Americans reveals that a majority support President Obama’s plan to attack climate change by cracking down on carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Americans also support the other aspects of Obama’s climate action plan, which he outlined in a major address on June 25, according to the poll, conducted for the Natural Resources Defense Council, found that:

  •   79 support increasing fuel efficiency standards for new vehicles.
  •  78 percent support increasing investment in renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power.
  •  78 percent support stronger energy efficiency standards for appliances and new buildings.
  • 76 percent support the United States taking a lead role in encouraging countries such as China and India to expand their efforts to curb carbon pollution.
  •  75 percent support strengthening communities against the effects of climate change, such as creating new flood reduction plans for areas hit by Hurricane Sandy, and drought and wildfire preparation plans for the Midwest and West.

Democrats and Independents most strongly favored of curbing carbon emissions from the America’s 1,500 power plants, which are the nation’s single biggest contributor to planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

But even about half (49 percent) of Republicans, whose party has blocked climate laws in Congress, said they endorse limits on carbon pollution from power plants. All told, the poll suggested that 65 percent of Americans favor cutting this type of pollution, which has never been regulated, though mercury and arsenic emissions from power plants are controlled.

Carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, transportation and other sources has been blamed for triggering worldwide climate change, which is melting glaciers, raising sea levels, spreading drought and triggering more powerful hurricanes.

The poll by Hart Research Associates found that overall 61 percent of Americans back the full Obama climate action plan unveiled last month.

Support crossed generational and regional boundaries, said Jay Campbell, senior vice president at Hart Research Associates.

“Simply put, Americans want to see something done to counteract climate change, and they say setting limits on power plant emissions is an important step,” he said.

Hart Research, which often works with Democrats, conducted the poll for NRDC jointly with Chesapeake Beach Consulting, a firm that often works with Republicans.

“The public wants Washington to address the issue of climate change, including Republicans who indicate strong support for each of the individual components of the plan. Not taking action is not an option the public will accept,” said Chesapeake’s President Robert Carpenter.

Pollsters read arguments for and against controlling power plant emissions to those being surveyed before asking their position. The arguments read were:

  • “SUPPORTERS of this plan say that cutting carbon pollution is essential to keeping our air and water clean, protecting our kids’ health, and reducing the devastating effects of climate change. President Obama’s plan represents a reasonable and comprehensive approach that will help our economy to continue to grow and recover while sparking innovation in energy technology and cutting our dependence on foreign oil.
  • “OPPONENTS of this plan say it will seriously harm our economy just as it is starting to improve. This plan will mean higher energy costs, making it more expensive for companies to do business and leading to thousands of job losses and higher prices for consumers. All this without having any real impact on climate change, because big polluters such as India and China do not limit pollution from their power companies.”

Afterward, the majority (59 percent) still said they supported the president’s climate plan; 32 percent said they oppose it.