Progress Illinois –
A majority of Illinois voters say they trust the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), not Congress, to decide limits on harmful carbon emissions from power plants, a new Public Policy Pollingsurvey shows.
Illinois voters are also more likely to throw their support behind candidates for U.S. Senate who support EPA’s proposed carbon pollution regulations for power plants, rather than those who oppose them, according to the poll conducted on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
“We continue to see public support for limits on carbon pollution from power plants and extraordinary public skepticism about Congress trying to prevent that,” David Goldston, director of NRDC’s government affairs program, said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “That’s an important message as the administration moves ahead, as the president has said it will, with putting out power plant standards to limit carbon pollution for the first time.”
On September 20, the EPA issued draft carbon pollution rules for new power plants, and the agency is set to propose limits for existing power plants by June 2014. The rules are part of President Barack Obama’s climate action plan released in June. Last week, the EPA concluded its tour of 11 listening sessions meant to gather public input about carbon pollution limits for existing gas- and coal-fired power plants. One of the sessions was held in ChicagoFriday.
NRDC says power plants account for 40 percent of the country’s carbon emissions, making them the nation’s single biggest source of such pollution. The Environment Illinois Research and Education Center recently ranked Illinois the seventh dirtiest state regarding carbon pollution from its power plants.
Public Policy Polling’s recent survey of 1,126 Illinois voters showed that 53 percent of respondents support the EPA’s plan to propose standards limiting carbon pollution from power plants. Of those surveyed, 68 percent said they trust scientists and EPA experts to determine such carbon emission regulations, and just 6 percent said they would trust politicians in Congress to decide the standards. Another 26 percent were unsure.