Poll data: Majority support curbing greenhouse gases

The majority of people in roughly 40 states believe climate change is real and say immediate action should be taken to curb it, according to new data released by a House task force.

The report found at least 62 percent of the population in each state surveyed supports government action to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants — even if it means using regulations or tax breaks.

The debate surrounding regulations aimed at curbing carbon pollution from new and existing power plants is set to heat up this week, as top Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials head to Capitol Hill.

A House subcommittee will review legislation aimed at limiting EPA carbon standards for new power plants. (More about Thursday's hearing is available here.)

The newly released data by Stanford University professor Jon Krosnick came from surveys conducted in 46 states. He presented the research Wednesday on behalf of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, which does not have any Republican members.

Krosnick also found that roughly 75 percent of the population in each state say global warming is happening.

And 84 percent who took that view were from states recently hit by drought like Arizona and New Mexico.

“This new report is crystal clear,” Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said in a statement. “It shows that the vast majority of Americans — whether from red states or blue — understand that climate change is a growing danger."

"Americans recognize that we have a moral obligation to protect the environment and an economic opportunity to develop the clean energy technologies of the future. Americans are way ahead of Congress in listening to the scientists," Waxman said.

Krosnick, who authored the report, told USA Today that lawmakers who doubt global warming or oppose the Obama administration's new power plant rules "may not have an accurate view of what their constituents want."