“The bottom line is voters are not happy that the EPA was shut down and they certainly won’t be happy with any future efforts to hinder its work,” PPP Director Tom Jensen told reporters on Thursday.
The poll was commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.
The group’s director of government affairs, David Goldston, said it should be a message to conservative Republicans, whom he indicated were most responsible for the shutdown.
“These polling numbers should be a clear warning to Tea Party Republicans who are already spoiling for the next fight,” he said. “The right-wingers who tried to make the EPA the face of the shutdown this time around should take note: You’re grossly out of step with the American public.”
Some conservatives have said the closed EPA was a silver lining of the shutdown, since it prevented the agency from writing new regulations that they worried could be harmful to businesses.
This week, Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee posted a list of 10 reasons why the government shutdown “isn’t all bad.” Among other things, the list focused on furloughs at the EPA, which “makes it less likely that they’ll make up science on new regulations.”
“The poll found very little sympathy for that attitude,” Goldston said.
About 94 percent of workers at the EPA were sent home during the shutdown, halting enforcement of the law and multiple efforts to write new regulations.
Many of those workers came back to the office on Thursday, where Vice President Biden was there to greet them.