Polls: Americans Back EPA and Clean Energy

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"Most Americans want the current EPA to do moreónot less."

Polls: Americans Back EPA and Clean Energy

Despite Newt Gingrich's recent call to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, new polls show Americans want the EPA to do moreónot lessóand want Congress to provide incentives for clean energy sources, such as solar and wind.

Gingrich, former GOP House speaker and potential 2012 presidential candidate, proposed abolishing the EPA in a speech last month in Iowa and replacing it with an "Environmental Solutions Agency," according to POLITICO. He said the new agency would spur innovation and new technologyónot regulation and litigation.

To see how Americans feel about this, the Natural Resources Defense Council commissioned a survey by ORC International. Only 25% backed Gingrich's plan to abolish the EPA, while 67% opposed it, including 61% of Republicans and 79% of Democrats, according to the phone survey of 1,007 adults taken Jan. 27Ė30. The survey did not ask them what they think of Gingrich's alternate agency idea.

The survey found that most Americans want the current EPA to do moreónot less. Almost two-thirds, or 63%, say "the EPA needs to do more to hold polluters accountable and protect the air and water," while 29% say it already "does too much and places too many costly restrictions on businesses and individuals."

A USA Today/Gallup survey finds Americans also place a high priority on developing alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind, which President Obama called for in his State of the Union address. Of eight actions Congress could take this year, Americans most favored an energy bill providing alternative power incentives (83%) over such issues as overhauling the federal tax code (76%) or speeding up the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan (72%).

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