This post is by Daniel J. Weiss, Director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
On the eve of the vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act, expected Friday (or early Saturday), the Washington Post-ABC News just released a poll that found strong support among Americans for action to reduce global warming pollution. Despite conservative loud and misleading opposition to the bill, a global warming reduction plan has widespread public support.
The poll respondents also gave President Obama high marks for his efforts to address this problem. President Obama’s net ratings on this issue — net 28% approve — is his second strongest issue after international affairs. He has a higher approval rating on global warming than on health care or the economy, among other issues.
Respondents were asked whether “government should or should not regulate the release of greenhouse gases from sources like power plants, cars and factories in an effort to reduce global warming?” By more than 3-1, Americans felt that the Federal government should “regulate” the release of greenhouse gas pollution. And the respondents who felt strongly about it favored action by 4-1.
These findings are particularly significant given that the wording of the question was biased against action since it asked about the regulation of greenhouse gases. Regulate and its derivatives are hot buttons for many Americans. And the bill American Clean Energy and Security Act is not a strict regulatory bill because it includes a “cap and trade” mechanism that relies on the market place to set prices on emissions reductions, and allows companies to offset their emissions by paying farmers and others to store carbon pollution instead.