New Poll Finds Pennsylvanians Concerned About Proposed EPA Power Plant Regulations

Strongest Opposition Voiced in Hardest-Hit States Such as Pennsylvania

Watch Behind the Headlines with Rep. Jeff Pyle, Chairman of the Pennsylvania House Coal Caucus, who discusses how damaging these regulations will be on Pennsylvania’s economy.

Polling data released October 22, 2014 by the Partnership for a Better Energy Future (PBEF), a coalition of 175 members representing nearly every segment of the U.S. economy, finds that voters in Pennsylvania and nationwide have major concerns about the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations and are unwilling to pay even a dollar more for energy in exchange for these new rules.

Findings from a national survey of 1,340 likely voters and a statewide survey of 1,005 likely voters in Pennsylvania conducted earlier this month by Paragon Insights include the following:

• A majority believe the United States cannot afford new costs and potential job losses resulting from the EPA regulations.
• Nearly half of those polled say they are not willing to pay a single dollar more in their energy bill to accommodate the new EPA regulations.
• 40 percent of Pennsylvania voters are less likely to cast their vote for a candidate that supports EPA’s Clean Power Plan, versus just 25 percent who say they are more likely to vote for candidates that support the rule.
• A plurality of voters in Pennsylvania—47 percent—oppose the regulations. Opposition to the rule is strongest in states that stand to be hit hardest by the rule’s expected energy price increases and job loss impacts.
• Middle-class voters and seniors are among the top opponents of the rule. The poll also finds that public opposition is led by concerns about job loss, possible energy rationing and increased electricity rates, especially for the middle class.

“The data released today make it abundantly clear that regulators in Washington are completely out of touch with what the rest of America wants,” said National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The EPA’s plan to regulate carbon emissions from new and existing power plants could drastically increase energy prices for households and businesses alike. A self-inflicted wound like this threatens the comeback underway in the manufacturing sector and makes it harder for manufacturers to compete, expand and create jobs.”

“EPA’s push to implement one of the most complicated and costliest rules in history is creating real concerns across the country that should not be ignored,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy President and CEO Karen Harbert. “This poll affirms what we’re hearing from states, businesses and families that will be forced to comply. The EPA should heed these concerns and abandon its current approach, which will bring negative consequences for our entire economy with very little environmental benefit in return.”

The data comes on the heels of an economic analysis released last week by NERA Economic Consulting, which found that compliance with the EPA’s plan to regulate emissions from existing power plants would cost more than $366 billion and would drive electricity rates upward by 21 percent in Pennsylvania.

The EPA will continue to receive public comments regarding the proposed regulation through December 1. With so much at stake, the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, along with its 175 members, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Farm Bureau Federation and National Mining Association, will continue to educate the public nationally and in key states like Pennsylvania through the close of the comment period and beyond as the issuance of a final rule approaches.

The views expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Susquehanna Valley Center.

Nothing contained here should be considered as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any legislation.