EPA Chief Insists: 'People Overwhelmingly Consider Climate Change a Problem'

By Susan Jones | October 24, 2014 | 11:49 AM EDT

EPA Administration Gina McCarthy (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Recent polls put climate change low on the list of Americans' pressing concerns, but that's not how EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy sees it:

"From all the recent public opinion work out there on climate change, what stands out to me is this: First, people overwhelmingly consider climate change a problem, and they want action. And second, what’s even more impressive, is the overwhelming support specifically for EPA action to curb carbon pollution from power plants."

McCarthy spoke Friday at a Conference on Energy and the Environment at Georgetown University.

But as CNSNews.com reported eight days ago, a recent Gallup Poll found that climate change ranked at the bottom of a list of 13 concerns that are most pressing for registered U.S. voters in next month’s midterm election.

In that poll, only 40 percent of respondents identified climate change as either a “very important” or and “extremely important” factor in their votes. That was well behind the second-lowest-ranking concern, which was abortion and access to contraception, which was considered an important factor by 50 percent of respondents.

Likewise, a Gallup poll in March 2014 found that only 24 percent of Americans worried a great deal about climate change. In that poll, both "climate change" and "quality of the environment" were near the bottom of a list of 15 issues Gallup asked Americans to rate. Only "race relations" ranked lower than those two issues in Gallup's March 6-9 survey.

And in last month, a Pew Poll found that while most Americans believe in climate change, they give it a low priority. Forty-eight percent rated global climate change as a major threat — well behind the level of concern shown for other issues.

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