Poll: Majority of US supports limits on greenhouse gas emissions

A large majority of people in the United States supports limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, according to new poll.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Monday found 70 percent of people said the federal government should require limits to greenhouse gases from existing power plants. 

Such a regulation was proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday, whereby carbon emissions from existing coal plants could be cut by as much as 30 percent by 2030.

Seventy percent of people also support requiring states to limit greenhouse gas emissions within their borders, the survey found.

A majority of people from across the political spectrum supports state-based regulations: 57 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of independents and 79 percent of Democrats. 

Strong Tea Party backers, meanwhile, are more resistant to limits, with half saying the federal government should impose caps, and 45 percent saying there should be none.

Those surveyed were asked if Washington should pursue the limits if they “significantly lowered greenhouse gases but raised your monthly energy expenses by 20 dollars a month.” 

In response, 63 percent said Washington should move forward, including just over half of Republicans, 64 percent of independents and 71 percent of Democrats. 

For people living in states where most of their electricity is produced by burning coal, nearly 70 percent said the government should place limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Seventy-one percent of people said the same in states where less than half of electricity is fueled by coal.

The poll surveyed 1,002 adults from May 29 to June 1 and has a 3.5-percentage-point margin of error.