On Monday, President Obama and the EPA announced new proposals to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30% before the year 2030. Between Republican lawmakers and representatives from the oil, gas, and coal industries, there was much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands over the news. Here's what happened next, in no particular order…
New Poll Shows Strong Voter Support for Reducing Emissions
The group Americans United for Change released results today from a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP):
Carbon emission reduction standards announced by President Obama yesterday are popular with voters across the country, and that voters have little tolerance for a Presidential candidate in 2016 who doesn’t believe that climate change is caused by human activity. Crucial independent voters, in particular, are not sympathetic to the GOP’s climate skepticism…
…Voters support the 30% reduction standard in carbon pollution from existing power plants by an 18 point margin, 53/35. Independents (59/29) are particularly strong in their support for the standards…[Pols emphasis]
…Voters, and particularly independents, don’t have much tolerance for climate skeptics when it comes to the 2016 Presidential race. Only 38% of voters say they’d be willing to support a candidate who doesn’t believe global warming is caused by human activity, and by an 11 point margin they say they would be less likely to vote for such a candidate. When it comes to independents just 29% would be open to supporting a climate skeptic.
Denver Post Editorial Supports Carbon Reduction Plan
The Denver Post is supportive of the new emissions reduction plan. As the editorial board opines:
The Obama administration's plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030 from the level that existed in 2005 appears ambitious but doable. It will also allow the U.S. to reclaim a leadership role in the world in terms of reducing greenhouse gases.
And while reaching the 2030 goal will be expensive, human ingenuity will no doubt ensure that it's not as costly as the dire estimates emanating now from some critics. To emphasize what should be obvious, for example: It's not going to cripple the economy.
This last line is particularly important, because it provides a clear and succinct argument to be used whenever critics start howling about the economic devastation that will result from the new emissions rules.
No Comment from Rep. Cory Gardner on the New Rules
As Fox 31's Eli Stokols reports, one Colorado lawmaker was conspicuously quiet yesterday:
Congressman Cory Gardner, Udall’s opponent, has yet to issue a statement on the rules…
…Udall, meanwhile, is attacking Gardner as a climate-change denier, firing off a press release cataloging a slew of Gardner’s votes and statements that reflect his view that climate change isn’t human-caused, as 97 percent of scientists believe it to be.
This is not a good spot for Gardner to find himself, because he needs to figure out how to appease the coal-powered Koch Brothers without opening himself up to more attacks on an issue where he is already positioned incorrectly (in terms of reaching Colorado voters).