The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), charged with protecting human health and the environment through regulations based on laws passed by Congress, was proposed and signed by Republican President Richard Nixon in 1970.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), charged with protecting human health and the environment through regulations based on laws passed by Congress, was proposed and signed by Republican President Richard Nixon in 1970. Other landmark environmental legislation of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s that enjoyed bipartisan support includes the Endangered Species Act (1973), the Clean Water Act (1977), and the Clean Air Act (1963, expanded in 1970, 1977, and 1990). These laws and others were advanced by Democratic and Republican administrations alike.
More recently, however, partisan divisions on environmental protection have widened, with Republican leaders frequently in opposition.1, This opposition took a strong form in the 2016 presidential campaign, when Republican Donald Trump called for abolishing the EPA and eliminating many environmental regulations. After taking office he seemed to moderate his position on abolishing the EPA, but he nominated as director someone who has sued the agency to halt its enforcement activities. In Congress, some Republicans have introduced bills to terminate the EPA, or restrict its capabilities for monitoring, enforcement, and research.
Does public opinion now mirror the stark party-line divisions among political leaders? To find out, we placed a question on the Granite State Poll, a quarterly random-sample telephone survey. Although this poll focuses on New Hampshire residents, previous studies have found that their responses to environmental questions often resemble those on nationwide surveys.2 For this particular poll, interviews with 505 people took place between January 31 and February 8, 2017.3
+ READ MORE