Public to Obama, Congress: Climate Action Is No Big Deal This Year

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National Journal
Ben Geman
Jan. 28, 2014, 1:54 a.m.

Two new polls show that the pub­lic isn’t ex­actly beat­ing the drum for Pres­id­ent Obama and Con­gress to put cli­mate change atop their agen­das.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journ­al poll finds that 27 per­cent be­lieve that ad­dress­ing cli­mate change should be an “ab­so­lute pri­or­ity” in 2014.

Forty-one per­cent put the top­ic in the “can be delayed un­til next year” buck­et, ac­cord­ing to the poll con­duc­ted Janu­ary 22-25 and re­leased Tues­day.

In con­trast, 91 per­cent say job cre­ation should be a top pri­or­ity, re­du­cing the de­fi­cit comes in at 74 per­cent, and 63 per­cent say en­sur­ing all chil­dren have ac­cess to preschool should be in the “ab­so­lute pri­or­ity for this year” cat­egory.

A sep­ar­ate Pew Re­search Cen­ter poll finds that 29 per­cent of re­spond­ents want glob­al warm­ing to be a “top pri­or­ity” for Obama and Con­gress this year, while 31 per­cent call it an “im­port­ant but lower pri­or­ity.”

The Pew poll finds great­er pub­lic em­phas­is on a pair of top­ics closely re­lated to cli­mate change.

The sur­vey re­leased Monday finds that 49 per­cent say “pro­tect­ing the en­vir­on­ment” should be a top pri­or­ity, while “deal­ing with the na­tion’s en­ergy prob­lem” comes in at 45 per­cent.

The data ar­rive as ma­jor cli­mate le­gis­la­tion is dead on Cap­it­ol Hill but Obama’s En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency is mov­ing ahead with new rules to curb car­bon emis­sions from power plants.

Obama’s State of the Uni­on speech Tues­day night is ex­pec­ted to em­phas­ize ex­ec­ut­ive ac­tions he’s tak­ing on vari­ous top­ics amid GOP res­ist­ance to his le­gis­lat­ive agenda.

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