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Constituents in Upton's and Other House Districts: Let EPA Do its Job!

Pete Altman

Posted February 10, 2011 in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming, U.S. Law and Policy

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Yesterday members of Fred Upton's House Energy and Commerce Committee held their first hearing on Chairman Upton's proposal to block the Environmental Protection Agency from updating Clean Air Act safeguards to protect our health from life-threatening carbon pollution. (Hat tip and bow to EPA Chief Lisa Jackson who withstood hours of Dirty Air Extremism from panel members, and didn't give one inch on the EPA's obligation to protect public health by limiting carbon pollution.)

We've already learned most Americans don't support various proposals to eliminate or block the Environmental Protection Agency, as Reuters, Time and USA Today have reported.

But what about the views of the voters in the districts of specific members of Congress? Say, voters in House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton's district? Do they support blocking the EPA, as their own Congressman is proposing? What about voters in the districts of other Committee members who will have to vote on blocking the EPA in coming weeks?

Turns out, new polling shows that voters Chairman Upton's are not at all behind him on this, and the voters in eight other districts we looked at aren't either. Get the release here.

In fact, nearly two-thirds of Upton’s own constituents oppose his bill to block EPA from limiting carbon pollution.

Here's a quick scan of the Upton results:

  • 67 percent -- including 60 percent of Republicans – agreed with the statement that “Congress should let the EPA do its job,” as opposed to the minority who believe that “Congress should decide” what actions are taken to curb carbon pollution. 

  • 61 percent say that “EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water.” 
  • 57 percent favor “the EPA setting new standards with stricter limits on air pollution.”

You can read the full report on Upton's district here.

We also found solid majorities oppose Upton's proposal in the districts of eight other Committee members: Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif; Cory Gardner, R-Colo; Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.; Charlie Bass, R-N.H.; Leonard Lance, R-N.J.; Mike Doyle, D-Penn.; Charles A. Gonzalez, D-Texas; and Gene Green, D-Texas. You can view all the results in this single table here or look at individual reports, linked below. 

Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif. 

(559 voters interviewed February 4-5/margin of error: plus or minus 4.1 percent)

  • 59 percent say “Congress should let the EPA do its job.”
  • 53 percent say that “EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water.”
  • 56 percent oppose the Upton proposal “that would block the EPA from limiting carbon dioxide pollution.”
  • 51 percent favor “the EPA setting new standards with stricter limits on air pollution.”

 

Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.

(519 voters interviewed February 4-5/margin of error: plus or minus 4.3 percent)

  • 66 percent say “Congress should let the EPA do its job.”
  • 54 percent say that “EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water.”
  • 61 percent oppose the Upton proposal “that would block the EPA from limiting carbon dioxide pollution.”
  • 55 percent favor “the EPA setting new standards with stricter limits on air pollution.”

 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Il.

(627 voters interviewed February 4-5/margin of error: plus or minus 3.9 percent) 

  • 72 percent say “Congress should let the EPA do its job.”
  • 63 percent say that “EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water.”
  • 66 percent oppose the Upton proposal “that would block the EPA from limiting carbon dioxide pollution.”
  • 61 percent favor “the EPA setting new standards with stricter limits on air pollution.”

 

Rep. Charlie Bass, R-N.H.

(555 voters interviewed February 4-5/margin of error: plus or minus 4.2 percent) 

  • 67 percent say “Congress should let the EPA do its job.”
  • 65 percent say that “EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water.”
  • 64 percent oppose the Upton proposal “that would block the EPA from limiting carbon dioxide pollution.”
  • 61 percent favor “the EPA setting new standards with stricter limits on air pollution.”

 

Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J.

(628 voters interviewed February 4-5/margin of error: plus or minus 3.9 percent) 

  • 74 percent say “Congress should let the EPA do its job.”
  • 70 percent say that “EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water.”
  • 72 percent oppose the Upton proposal “that would block the EPA from limiting carbon dioxide pollution.”
  • 69 percent favor “the EPA setting new standards with stricter limits on air pollution.”

 

Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Penn.

(692 voters interviewed February 4-5/margin of error: plus or minus 3.7 percent) 

  • 74 percent say “Congress should let the EPA do its job.”
  • 77 percent say that “EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water.”
  • 73 percent oppose the Upton proposal “that would block the EPA from limiting carbon dioxide pollution.”
  • 74 percent favor “the EPA setting new standards with stricter limits on air pollution.”

 

Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez, D-Texas

(506 voters interviewed February 4-6/margin of error: plus or minus 4.4 percent) 

  • 71 percent say “Congress should let the EPA do its job.”
  • 72 percent say that “EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water.”
  • 70 percent oppose the Upton proposal “that would block the EPA from limiting carbon dioxide pollution.”
  • 71 percent favor “the EPA setting new standards with stricter limits on air pollution.”

 

Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas

(597 voters interviewed February 4-5/margin of error: plus or minus 4 percent) 

  • 64 percent   say “Congress should let the EPA do its job.”
  • 72 percent say that “EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water.”
  • 65 percent oppose the Upton proposal “that would block the EPA from limiting carbon dioxide pollution.”
  • 67 percent favor “the EPA setting new standards with stricter limits on air pollution.”

Next step for the Committee is to markup and vote on Chairman Upton's proposal to block the EPA (or as my colleague David Doniger writes, his proposal to put polluter profits ahead of public health.)

Let's see if the committee members pay attention to the views back home.

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Comments

Patrick DuffyFeb 11 2011 11:37 AM

The EPA needs funding! I can't believe anyone can in good conscience say we should cut EPA funding when they are engaged in so many programs that better the community, better our environment, better our public health. For example, what about brownfield clean up? What about midigating bioaccumulation of mercury in the great lakes? what about limiting NOx, SOx, and other acid rain causing compounds and VOCs. Are we to assume that a limited EPA can simply snap their proverbial fingers and suddenly we won't have huge social externalities from the Coal and other interests that Representative Upton supports and that are subsidized by our government?
We need people to speak out about this or to at least be educated about what they stand to lose.

Conor WilliamsFeb 13 2011 05:22 PM

I grew up in Kalamazoo, MI, and I'm ecstatic about this polling data. I really couldn't accept that my hometown was so backwards on environmental issues. Great to see that they're not buying what Upton's selling.

I used this polling data in a blog piece about a recent column of mine in the Kalamazoo Gazette. See it here:

Fred Upton's most relentless critic? Fred Upton. http://t.co/ocystsG

Ted CunninghamFeb 16 2011 11:31 PM

The poll was biased, of course. In the question regarding regulation of CO2 emissions, why wasn't the question phrased, "Who do you think should decide when and how greenhouse gases are regulated, the elected representatives of Congress, or the unelected bureaucrats of the EPA? I suspect the results would have been quite different.


I read Conor Williams' piece in the Gazette. He is quite a critic of Upton himself.

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