18% Support Giving Washington Sweeping New Powers to Combat Climate Change

Just 18% of voters nationwide believe the threat of climate change makes it necessary to give the federal government sweeping new powers to control the economy. Fifty-two percent (52%) disagree with that idea and 30% aren’t sure.

A new ScottRasmussen.com poll shows that 23% of Democrats support giving the federal government such sweeping power. That view is shared by 18% of Republicans and 12% of Independent voters.

The generational divide is bigger. While 32% of voters aged 18-to-34 believe the federal government should get sweeping new powers over the economy to fight climate change, only 9% of voters aged 50-to-64 and 11% of voters aged 65 and over agree.  (See crosstab results).

These results are consistent with data released earlier showing that 24% of voters believe climate change is the biggest threat facing are nation today. Additionally, just 20% of voters believe the nation needs more federal regulations. Most (56%) believe there are already too many.

The public resistance to turning over sweeping power to the federal government represents a major challenge for advocates of the “Green New Deal” recently proposed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow Democrat Senator Ed Markey. That plan was quickly endorsed by several Democrats currently running for president.

The federal government is seen as the least responsive institution in American society. Instead of serving the nation, 82% believe top federal regulators use their position to impose their agendas on the rest of us. They’re less skeptical of rank-and-file government workers. But, while giving them credit for trying, 58% don’t think those who write federal regulations understand the real world impact of those regulations.

Voters also embrace an important check on any regulatory power. If a regulation requires a business to act in a way that is not in the best interest of their customers, 54% of voters believe that the company should act in the best interest of their customers. Just 29% believe the company should obey the regulation and 17% are not sure.

Given all this, it is not surprising that the Green New Deal is little known by voters and has limited support. While 55% favor the concept when described in terms its advocates might use, there is little public support for the underlying policies.

The new ScottRasmussen.com survey shows that aren’t interested in cutting back on energy consumption to address global warming. Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters believe it’s more important for companies to address climate change by finding more environmentally-friendly ways to generate energy. Only 20% say it’s more important for Americans to conserve energy to address climate change.

And, voters tend to believe the new technologies are more likely than new government policies to address the major problems associated with climate change.

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The national survey of 1,002 Registered Voters was conducted February 2-3, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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