A recent survey from Public Policy Polling (PPP), commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund (NRDC), finds that a majority of voters in House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton’s (R-MI) home district do not support his attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and its use of the Clean Air Act to reduce global warming pollution.
In February, the American Lung Association released the results of a bipartisan national survey showing that 68% of Americans think that “Congress should not stop the EPA from updating Clean Air Act standards,” while 69% “think the EPA should update Clean Air Act standards with stricter limits on air pollution.”
In Rep. Fred Upton’s 6th District, where he easily won 62% of the vote in 2010, 59% of his constituents feel that Congress should “let EPA do its job,” and 53% favor the EPA setting tougher controls for air pollution.
Particularly, this latest poll asked constituents if they support Upton’s plan to block EPA action on climate change:
Michigan Congressman Fred Upton is promoting a proposal that would block the EPA from limiting carbon dioxide pollution. Some, like the National Association of Manufacturers, say Congress should block the EPA because “EPA’s overregulation threatens manufacturers, businesses and jobs throughout America. Its actions will increase manufacturers’ energy costs and make it more difficult to compete.” Others, like the American Lung Association, say Congress should not block the EPA because doing so “would strip away Clean Air Act protections that safeguard Americans and their families from air pollution that puts their lives at risk.” Knowing these two points of view, would you support or oppose Congress blocking the EPA, or are you not sure?
More than half, 54%, opposed, with less than a third (32%) supporting.
It is clear that Upton’s climate skepticism and his fight to overturn clean air protections that save thousands of lives and deliver a twenty-fold return on investment [pdf], runs against the wishes of Michigan voters.
Upton’s rogue attacks on EPA and the planet are now putting his chances of re-election next year at risk. In fact, 51% of his constituents said that they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports the Clean Air Act, and 49% of respondents said they are less likely to re-elect Upton because of his destructive clean air stance (with only 29% more likely to vote for him).
The NDRC Action Fund polling results are consistent with the findings of another new poll commissioned by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA). CFA’s survey indicates that as gas prices soar to almost $4 a gallon, 75% Americans want to see improved fuel-efficiency standards. Furthermore, 62% of Americans support nearly doubling fuel-efficiency standards for automakers by 2025 (already, light cars and trucks must meet a 35.5 mpg standard by 2016, inspired by California’s rules.)
The Obama administration is in the process of preparing new fuel efficiency standards, expected in September. These new poll results demonstrate that the public expects Washington to get the job done to protect air quality and the global climate.
For Fred Upton, this should serve as a wake-up call. The same voters who put him in office could very well replace him in the next election with someone who represents their strong desires for climate action and efficiency standards to ween the U.S. off dirty oil.