Greenhouse-Gas Regulation Backed by a Majority in Defense Council's Poll

A majority of U.S. voters say the government should regulate greenhouse gases linked to global warming and that the Environmental Protection Agency is up to the job, a poll for the Natural Resources Defense Council found.

Regulating global-warming gases from power plants and refineries is supported by 60 percent of likely voters and opposed by 34 percent, according to the survey commissioned by the environmental group, which backs such curbs. A smaller majority, 54 percent, say they are confident in the EPA’s ability to control greenhouse gases.

President Barack Obama’s administration has asserted the EPA’s authority to impose limits on carbon emissions after legislation to do so stalled in Congress. Senators such as Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, say EPA rules for greenhouse gases may hurt the economy. Rockefeller has proposed a two-year suspension of EPA action.

The EPA has said it will put off at least until January a requirement that industrial polluters obtain permits for emissions.

Pollster Joel Benenson of the New York-based Benenson Strategy Group conducted the survey through 1,401 telephone interviews nationwide with registered voters considered likely to cast ballots in the November congressional elections. The survey, conducted from Aug. 10 to 15, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percent. Benenson conducted polling for Obama’s presidential campaign.

Earlier Poll

The results mirror a June 3 to June 6 Washington Post-ABC News survey in which 71 percent said they support federal government efforts to regulate greenhouse gases while 26 percent said they didn’t.

The Benenson poll for the New York-based NRDC also found that 68 percent want government to do more to hold companies accountable for their pollution, compared with 23 percent who said no change is needed and 9 percent who said the government should do less. Legislation to “suspend” EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases was supported by 37 percent and opposed by 53 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Efstathiou Jr. in New York at

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