Gallup editor: Most Americans want government to lead on protecting environment

Gallup Editor-in-Chief Mohamed Younis said Friday that the majority of Americans want the government to play a leadership role in protecting the environment. 

"Sixty-six percent of Americans want the government to actually lead in terms of environmental protection," Younis told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking," referring to a recent Gallup poll.

"That was one of the only two areas in our poll where people wanted to see government taking the role of leadership. The other one was protecting the privacy of consumers online," he added.

In other topics included in the poll — such as higher education, health care, wages and the economy overall — a majority of respondents said they preferred the free market, as opposed to the government, being primarily responsible.

Younis's comments come as combatting climate change has become a major issue in Washington, D.C., with debate over proposals such as the progressive Green New Deal that aims to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to net zero over a 10-year period.

The proposal was championed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezLouisiana governor wins re-election White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations Ocasio-Cortez voices support for Taylor Swift in artist's battle to perform her songs MORE (D-N.Y.), who identifies as a democratic socialist. 

"One thing that's really interesting is environmental protection. Of course, the Green New Deal is a major initiative that's been championed by some folks on the far left who have identified, if you will, with the term socialism," Younis said. 

— Julia Manchester