Memo to Newt: Americans Want EPA to do More, Not Less Memo to Newt: Americans Want EPA to do More, Not Less

Memo to Newt: Americans Want EPA to do More, Not Less

by Ben Jervey

February 5, 2011

We created this chart out of the ORC International survey data, and we've paraphrased the wording of the questions for clarity. Here are the original survey results (PDF).

Kate Sheppard has been tracking Gingrich's comments, so check her posts out for the full arc, but his sentiment can be pretty well summed up in this line from an email to supporters:

Of all the government agencies that have become barriers to job creation and economic growth, the Environmental Protection Agency is the worst offender.

But according to this survey, 61 percent of Republicans oppose eliminating the EPA. And even within the GOP, more respondents wanted the EPA to "do more" (49 percent) than "do less" (44 percent). Sure, Gingrich is positioning himself to win the Tea Party fringe of the Republican party, but these numbers show that the proposal would fall flat in the general election. Nationwide, only one quarter of respondents supported the proposal of eliminating the EPA, and 67 percent opposed it.

But then I remember that environmental protection isn't an issue that anyone votes on (it's the economy, stupid), and if Gingrich did win the primary, you can bet the farm he'd pretty quickly shut up about shutting down the popular EPA. So maybe it's good politics after all?

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
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Memo to Newt: Americans Want EPA to do More, Not Less