According to new polling by Hart Research, it looks like Virginians are basically in sync with the rest of the country when it comes to climate change, the proposed new EPA carbon regulations for existing power plants, and other important environmental issues. Here are the highlights.
*”Two in three (67%) Virginia voters favor the EPA’s proposed regulations to limit the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can release into the air. Just 29% oppose the EPA’s regulation of carbon pollution.”
*Even in Southwestern Virginia, supposedly “coal country” (even though coal actually makes up only a miniscule percentage of that region’s economy) 60% support the EPA regulations. In other parts of Virginia, support averages around 66%-70%.
*”Democrats (86% to 11%) join independents (65% to 29%) in supporting the measure, while Republicans are divided (49% to 47%).” As usual, the problem is with Republicans, and even there it’s a close call. Everyone else is strongly on board with the EPA carbon regs.
*By an overwhelmingly 60%-20% margin, Virginia voters want the EPA, not Congress, to set regulations on carbon pollution. Perhaps that’s because they know there are a bunch of climate-science-denier fossil fuel industry tools (and just plain wackos) in charge in the House of Representatives?
*67% of Virginia voters say climate change is a serious problem, including 61% in Southwestern Virginia.
*”By a 63%-to-28% margin, Virginia voters select a statement that addressing climate change would create jobs by boosting wind, solar, and other clean energy industries over one that says addressing climate change costs jobs because it would hurt the oil, gas, and coal industries.” That is, of course, the correct answer. Virginian voters are a lot smarter than Republican politicians give them credit for!
*Even AFTER “Virginians heard arguments for and against the regulations, support for them holds strong, with greater than three in five wanting their senator to support the regulations.” Again, Virginians are a LOT smarter than Republican politicians think they are. 🙂
So, bottom line: the EPA carbon regulations are the right policy AND the right politics. Which means that any politician not completely bought and paid for by fossil fuel interests has Z-E-R-O excuse not to strongly support the EPA on this issue specifically, and strong action on moving from fossil fuels to clean energy generally.