- Just 32% of likely voters have a favorable impression of the Environmental Protection Agency while 40% think EPA regulations and actions are detrimental to the economy, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll taken December 21 and 22.
- The results — the worst in the three years of EPA polling — come as the agency’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have provoked the incoming Republican Congressional leadership to prioritize limiting EPA authority and its budget.
- Republican concern with the EPA centers on its proposed Clean Power Plan, which would reduce U.S. GHGs 30% by 2030. The plan would impose on states the requirement to make coal plants more efficient, move from coal to natural gas, switch to more nuclear and renewable power, or institute more energy efficiency.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said his top priority is "to try to do whatever I can to get the EPA reined in."
Six Democrats and 96 Republicans signed a December 22 letter sent to President Obama asking him to withdraw the Clean Power Plan because it will “threaten electric reliability and drive up energy costs.” The President is not expected to do so.
"A healthy environment for our children should not be a partisan issue," EPA Press Secretary Liz Purchia said. "Across the country, citizens want EPA to fulfill its mission, established by Congress, to safeguard clean air and clean water, which are essential building blocks for a strong economy."
Whitehouse climate change advisors John Podesta and Dan Utech have both told Utility Dive they are confident the Clean Power Plan will stand up to any legal or legislative challenge to which it is subjected.