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7 in 10 Voters Support Strong Carbon Pollution Limits on Power Plants
The Sierra Club announced results of a new national survey today conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, and the findings showed strong support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit carbon pollution from power plants. The national poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters across the country from Jan. 11 through Jan. 20 and also found strong support among voters for moving away from coal and other dirty fuels and a preference for investing in clean energy.
“Americans want to cut their ties to dirty fuels and instead power their country with 100 percent clean energy,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “These poll results should send a clear message to President Obama and the EPA that they must look beyond an ‘all of the above’ energy policy and completely replace dirty fuels with clean energy.”
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Key findings include:
- By nearly a 2-to-1 margin, voters think the country should be investing more in clean energy sources and energy efficiency rather than in fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas (61 percent clean energy vs. 33 percent traditional sources). A majority of voters (51 percent) “strongly" prefers investing in clean energy. Support is even higher among African-American voters (77 percent) and Latino voters (71 percent).
- A strong majority of voters (58 percent) favor the U.S. setting national goals to move away from coal and other fossil fuels and replace them with clean, renewable sources by the year 2030. This includes 57 percent who favor moving "entirely away from coal," and 59 percent who favor moving entirely away from “fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.”
- Two-in-three U.S. voters say the issue of climate disruption is a serious problem.
- The majority of voters (56 percent) believe that the government already limits the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can release, which the government currently does not.
- When presented with President Obama’s climate plan and the proposed EPA limits on carbon pollution from power plants, seven-in-ten Americans favor the EPA putting limits on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can release.
“Dirty power plants are a threat to our health and our climate, and Americans are ready for the EPA to protect them from power plant pollution,” said Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign Director Mary Anne Hitt. “President Obama and the EPA have the public support they need to ensure pending carbon pollution standards for power plants are strong enough to protect our families.”
“Voters overwhelmingly want to see the country move away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy, and they believe the government should be taking more action to combat climate disruption,” said Andrew Baumann, Vice President of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. “As a result, they show very strong support for new EPA limits on carbon pollution from power plants."
Read the full poll results here.
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE pages for more related news on this topic.
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A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.
"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."
The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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