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Poll: Abolishing EPA has low support among people, no matter the political affiliation

Most people, regardless of political affiliation, oppose Congressional efforts to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating pollution under the Clean Air Act, according to a new poll from ORC International.

The 1,007 person survey was commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council after former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican, called EPA a “very expensive bureaucracy that across the board makes it harder to solve problems” and suggested that the agency be dismantled.

Among the key findings of the poll:

Americans want the EPA to do more, not less. Almost two thirds of Americans (63 percent) say “the EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water,” versus under a third (29 percent) who think the EPA already “does too much and places too many costly restrictions on businesses and individuals.” Well under half of Republicans (44 percent), less than a third of Independents (29 percent) and under a fifth of Democrats (16 percent) think the EPA is going too far today.

Americans do not want Congress to kill the EPA’s anti-pollution updates. Only 18 percent of Americans – including fewer than a third of Republicans (32 percent) — believe that “Congress should block the EPA from updating pollution safeguards,” after being told: “Some members of Congress are proposing to block the Environmental Protection Agency from updating safeguards to protect our health from dangerous air pollution, saying they will cost businesses too much money.” By contrast, more than three out of four Americans (77 percent) — including 61 percent of Republicans – say “Congress (should) let the EPA do its job.”

House Republican leaders are expected today to unveil new legislation aimed at blocking EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

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