Donald Trump and his nominee for Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, may be hell-bent on dismantling the agency that protects Americans’ air, water, and health. But to get it done, they’ll have to get through a large, largely bipartisan majority of their constituents.
“More than 60% of Americans would like to see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s powers preserved or strengthened under incoming president Donald Trump, and the drilling of oil on public lands to hold steady or drop,” Reuters reports, based on a poll it published this week along with the Ipsos opinion research organization.
“The results could foretell stronger-than-expected public opposition to Trump’s plans to boost energy development by slashing environmental regulations, an agenda shared by some of his top cabinet picks slated for Senate confirmation hearings later this week.”
The poll found that 39% of Americans want the EPA “strengthened or expanded” and another 22% want it to “remain the same,” Reuters states. Among Republicans, 47% want the agency strengthened or left as it is, while 35% would see it weakened or eliminated.
“Trump is a businessman, and that’s all he thinks about…what will make money,” said 61-year-old Terry Cox, a Trump voter in Tennessee. “But I’m hopeful there’s a limit to what he can do when it comes to weakening protections for wildlife and the environment.”
The poll found that 39% of Americans want a reduction in coal mining and oil drilling on federal government lands, compared to 23% who want no change and 22% who favour expanded activity.