Strong Bipartisan Majorities Want Government to do more about Climate Change
Blog post by Lisa M. Maatz, Senior Advisor/Organizing Director, Ohio Citizen Action
While climate science deniers get a disproportionate amount of attention, a new poll from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows two-thirds of Americans believe the federal government is not doing enough to address the effects of climate change. It's pretty simple in the final analysis: Americans see the harmful effects of climate change on a daily basis, in their country and in their own backyard. The Pew poll found that 63% of U.S. adults say climate change is affecting their community, and 65% say the federal government is doing "too little" about the problem. Even in the pandemic age, there continues to be clear momentum for strong policies that protect the environment and consumers alike.
Ohio Citizen Action members didn't need a poll to give us these facts, but the confirmation is welcome especially in an age of misinformation and hyperpartisanship that has created a vocal minority of climate deniers. Indeed, in some circles this denial has become a political litmus test as well as a convenient crutch for big corporate polluters. In fact, Americans strongly support several policies including "Planting about a trillion trees" (90%), "Tougher restrictions on power plant carbon emissions" (80%), and "Tougher fuel efficiency standards for cars" (71%).
Even better, 73% of Americans believe the federal government should tax businesses based on their carbon emissions. OCA would take that a step farther to say such taxes should be dedicated to the research and implementation of concrete policies that will make a real impact on climate change. OCA strongly believes -- along with 79% of Americans -- that developing alternative sources of energy should be our focus, especially wind and solar. Only a clear minority believes we should give priority to expanding the production of oil, coal and natural gas (20%). Lastly, OCA has long advocated that government regulations are necessary to encourage businesses and individuals to rely more on renewable energy -- and this poll further confirms we are on the right track with those principles.