Democrats, Republicans Divided on Trump’s Handling of Climate Change

The Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the morning sun in Glenrock, Wyo. A poll Thursday found that 80% of Americans support funding renewable energy sources. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

WASHINGTON (CN) – A poll released Thursday indicates a deep divide between Democrats and Republicans on how they view the Trump administration’s handling of climate change and energy policy.

The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which was conducted Aug. 15-18 with a sample of 1,058 adults, showed that roughly 66% of Republicans are in favor of President Donald Trump’s actions on climate change, while 74% approved of his actions relating to energy policy. Only 7% of Democrats, on the other hand, approve of the president’s actions on climate change and 11% approve of his energy policy actions. 

Overall, the poll found that roughly 64% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s climate change policies, while approximately 32% approve.

According to a New York Times analysis, a total of 85 environmental regulations are being rolled back under Trump. These include regulations concerning air pollution, drilling, infrastructure, water pollution, and toxic substances, all of which could lead to an increase in the volume of greenhouse gasses released into the earth’s atmosphere.

Such rollbacks are at odds with Thursday’s poll results, which indicate that roughly two-thirds of voters believe the federal government is responsible for protecting Americans from climate change – although the split between Democrats and Republicans on this question is stark, with 83% of Democrats and 48% of Republicans believing as much.

The poll indicated that the majority of voters in all parties believe that climate change is happening, whether they believe it is caused by human activities, natural changes or both. 

Additionally, it found that the majority of voters from Republican, Democratic, and Independent parties saw solar and wind energy as having “more advantages than disadvantages.” Eighty percent of Americans favor funding renewable energy sources.

The AP-NORC poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

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