Howard Learner Talks about Poll Showing Support for Climate Action Plan

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Poll: Majority Supports Obama Climate Action Plan

By Mary Anne Myers, Public News Service

CHICAGO – It’s been almost a month since President Obama declared that he’s not waiting for Congress to do something about climate change. He is using his executive powers to curb the pollution that contributes to it, and Americans seem to be glad that he’s doing it. When pollsters told voters about all its elements, 61 percent said they support the president’s Climate Action Plan.

According to Howard Learner, founder and president of the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center, he expects support to grow even stronger.

“As people see that cars and trucks are becoming more efficient, as people see some of the old coal plant dinosaurs either cleaning up or retiring, I think you’re going to see a lot of members of the public saying this makes sense,” Learner said.

Even after being given the arguments for and against the plan, the voters supported it by a nearly two to one margin.

In addition to telling the voters that the plan will limit pollution from power plants as well as boost fuel efficiency in vehicles and energy efficiency in homes, the voters were told that the plan will invest more in wind and solar power generation. And they approved.

Learner said Illinois is one of many states that will benefit economically.

“You know, the Midwest and the Great Plains are the Saudi Arabia of wind power,” he said. “Iowa is the number two state in the country in terms of installed wind power development, Illinois is number four, Minnesota is number six.”

He said the Dakotas are producing more wind power as well.

Learner sees the president’s Climate Action plan as an important kick starter for the clean-energy industry.

Even though the poll showed bipartisan support for most elements in the plan, Senate Republicans have introduced legislation to stop the EPA from regulating carbon emissions from power plants.
Poll results are at goo.gl/0yusfS. Climate plan is at goo.gl/lspT2. More information is at ELPC.org. – See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php?/content/article/33590-1#sthash.DyAhrJI9.dpuf

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