WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A new poll finds that many Americans are skeptical of the immediate impact global warming can cause on the planet.
A CBS News Poll finds that only 46 percent of Americans believe global warming will have a serious impact now. Thirty-one percent believe it will have a serious impact, but in the future, and 20 percent say that there won’t be a serious impact at all.
Breaking it down among demographics, 65 percent of Democrats believe that global warming is having an impact right now, compared to 24 percent who believe that it will have a serious impact in the future and 7 percent who think global warming won’t have an impact.
Among Republicans, 28 percent say global warming is causing an immediate impact on Earth right now. Thirty percent say global warming will a serious impact in the future, while 39 percent say that there won’t be an impact on Earth whatsoever.
The poll, which was conducted last month, was released on the same day the Obama administration rolled out a plan to cut earth-warming pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, further diminishing coal’s role in U.S. electricity production in the process.
The proposed EPA rules would be the first to apply to carbon dioxide emissions at existing power plants. Coal is the most common fuel source for the nation’s electricity and, when it’s burned, is a leading source of the greenhouse gasses that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.
The opposition to President Barack Obama’s new carbon emission standards has been strongest in some states that have large coal-mining industries or rely heavily on coal to fuel their electricity. State officials say the new federal regulations could jeopardize the jobs of thousands of workers and drive up the monthly electric bills of residents and businesses.
It remains to be seen whether new measures passed by the states will amount to mere political symbolism or actually temper what’s expected to be an aggressive federal effort to reduce the country’s reliance on coal. But either way, states likely will play a pivotal role, because federal clean air laws leave it up to each state to come up its own plan for complying with the emission guidelines.
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