On August 3, President Obama released the final rules of the EPA Clean Power Plan. The plan requires states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, one of the nation's largest sources of carbon pollution.
In recent months, some Republicans in Congress and governors from coal-producing states have attacked the new plan. These attacks might suggest there is widespread public opposition to regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant. However, our research finds the opposite.
In our latest national survey (March, 2015), we found that a large majority of Americans support setting strict emission limits on coal-fired power plants - by more than a two-to-one margin: 70% support; 29% oppose.
Likewise, Yale's models of public opinion in all 50 states (2014) find that a majority of Americans in almost every state support setting strict emission limits on coal-fired power plants.
Please visit the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication's interactive Climate Opinion Maps to explore public support for regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, requiring utilities to generate at least 20% of their electricity using renewable sources, and other climate change policies and beliefs at the national, state, congressional district, and county levels.
August 12, 2015