Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year by industrial polluters to demonize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That epic propaganda campaign has grossly distorted the political environment in Washington, DC, with Republicans in lockstep against the EPA “Gestapo,” often supported by Democrats in districts with a strong polluter presence. However, the moves to cripple the EPA are not supported by the general public, who trust the agency to keep Americans healthy and safe.
Even among Republicans, who receive the most intense anti-EPA propaganda through Fox News and other conservative media outlets, the agency’s decisions to strengthen rules that limit pollution remain popular, a new poll has found. According to a national survey of 1,400 voters conducted by Hart Research Associates and GS Strategy Group and sponsored by Ceres, the EPA’s proposed Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule are popular both on general principle and on their specifics:
— 88% of Democrats, 85% of Independents, and 58% of Republicans oppose Congress stopping the EPA from enacting new limits on air pollution from electric power plants.
— 67% of voters support the CSAPR and 77% of voters support the Toxics rule.
— 65% of voters surveyed are confident that the health and environmental benefits of air pollution standards outweigh the costs of complying with them.
— 79% of voters agree that the rules are important to enact for health reasons.
— 75% of voters believe a compelling reason to implement these rules is the boost to local economies and thousands of new jobs that will be created from investments in new technology.
“Although some in Congress oppose these rules, the level of support from Republican voters is surprisingly strong,” said Greg Strimple of GS Strategy Group, a Republican pollster who jointly conducted the research. “The research clearly demonstrates Republican voters are willing to support new rules to reduce harmful emissions in order to improve public health. Republicans like clean air, too.”