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Poll: 'Huge Majority' of Americans Willing to Pay Price to Fight Global Warming

US public outpaces lawmakers in recognizing urgency of the crisis

A poster from the 2010 Earth Day Climate Rally in Washington, DC. (Credit: Brown Political Review)

A poster from the 2010 Earth Day Climate Rally in Washington, DC. (Credit: Brown Political Review)

Not only do a significant majority of Americans believe that state and federal governments should regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants in order to stave off resulting global warming, according to a new poll, they're willing to pay a financial cost to help make that happen.

On the same day as new rules by the Obama administration were made official by the Environmental Protection Agency, an ABC/Washington Post poll found that 7 out of 10 people—called a "huge majority"—agree that the government should enforce regulations that "limit the release of greenhouse gases from existing power plants in an effort to reduce global warming."

When asked if they would still support such effort even if it would increase their monthly energy bills by $20, a full 63 percent said they would.

No one is arguing that the findings of this poll represent a new era in which seventy percent of Americans are calling for a dramatic shift of the nation's energy paradigm as their primary political call. What it does seem to say, however, is that a subtantial cross-section of the American public—as opposed to lawmakers in Congress—are willing to take responsibility for the climate crisis by acknowledging the problem and by showing an increasing willingness to help solve it.


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