The majority of Americans would support new government guidelines to cut pollution from power plants, unveiled on Monday, even if they raise their energy bills, according to a new poll.
The Washington Post-ABC survey found that 70% of Americans approve of the new US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that aim to cut pollution from power plants by 30% by 2030.
When asked if they would still back the guidelines if their monthly household energy bills were raised by $20, 63% said they would.
The EPA say the new emission strategy will bring net climate and health benefits of up to $82 billion (£48 billion), while helping the US in its efforts to curb climate change. It is also hoped the move will boost America’s renewable energy industry.
Presenting the plan, EPA chief Gina McCarthy said, “It doesn’t just give our states more options. It gives investors and entrepreneurs more options to play too. It will deliver the certainty that private investment is looking for.”
McCarthy also disputed that the rules would necessarily raise energy bills, saying, “if states are smart”, bills could even be 8% cheaper by 2030.
Many leading multinational businesses and investors have sent messages of support to US president Barack Obama, who has been praised for pushing forward the climate change agenda.
A group of 128 companies – including Unilever, Starbucks and Nike – and 49 investors worth $800 billion in assets – including F&C Management and Impax Asset Management US – have signed letters in which they “applaud” the move.
One of the letters reads, “Our support is firmly grounded in economic reality. We know that tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century.”
Photo: MJ_100 via Flickr