A new poll released by AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and Yale University claims that half of Republicans said they would support regulating carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming.
Six in 10 Americans supported regulations on carbon dioxide, according to the AP poll, including half of Republicans — who also apparently agree that “the U.S. should lead the global fight to curb climate change, even if it means taking action when other countries do not.”
Sixty percent of Republicans said the government should fund “clean energy” research, according to the AP poll, while less than 40 percent said the government should put more money into nuclear power.
The White House, Democrats and environmentalists have spun the AP poll as showing broad, bipartisan support for President Obama’s executive orders to tackle global warming.
“The American people have made it clear they know climate change is real, and that we can protect the planet and grow the economy at the same time,” White House spokesman Frank Benenati told the AP. “Climate deniers in Congress and those who would try to block efforts to address the climate challenge would do well to listen.”
“This poll proves that Republicans here in Washington are disconnected from average Republicans across the country,” echoed California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. “Anyone with a pulse and a heartbeat — with the exception of Republicans in Congress — knows that climate change is upon us, and we must step up and reduce dangerous carbon pollution.”
But do half of Republicans really back climate regulations like those proposed by the Obama administration? It becomes less clear since the AP’s own poll shows that only 46 percent of Republicans believe that global warming is “caused entirely/mostly by human activities.”
Of those Republicans who believe mankind is primarily to blame for global warming, only 24 percent say they are extremely or very worried about it. In fact, even among 57 percent of adults who blame mankind for most or all the warming, only 34 percent are very worried about it — 38 percent are only moderately worried and 20 percent are “not too worried or not worried at all.”
“Global warming was second to last among environmental issues. That is all you need to know,” said Mike McKenna, GOP political strategist, told the AP, alluding to the fact that environmental issues almost never rank among voters’ top concerns in elections.
Yet AP and Yale pollsters found that 50 percent of Republicans would support carbon dioxide regulations, despite only 24 percent of less than half of Republicans being very worried about global warming.
It should also be mentioned that even though 50 percent of Republicans supported global warming regulations, the poll never specified which regulations they would back.
“Americans are more concerned about the economy, jobs, and affordable and reliable energy, which is counter to the type of regulations coming out of President Obama’s EPA,” echoed Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, who will take Sen. Boxer’s place as chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee next year.
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