Climate policy: Americans want states to pick up federal slack

A majority of Americans across the political spectrum believe states are responsible for addressing climate change in the absence of federal policy, according to a new survey by University of Michigan researchers.

The National Surveys on Energy and Environment track public opinion on climate change and energy policy. This update gives a snapshot from this spring—after President Trump began eliminating former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, and just before Trump’s June announcement to withdraw from the international Paris climate agreement.

“Prior to the Obama administration, the states were really driving climate policy, and Americans say if the federal government doesn’t want to act on climate anymore, then states should be back in the driver’s seat,” said Sarah Mills, a research fellow at the U-M Ford School of Public Policy and co-author of the study. “States are where we have historically made progress and where we can continue to make progress in the future.”

Mills says there’s strong support from all political parties for specific policy steps states have taken in the past—and not just among those who believe in climate change.

Read more (Michigan News)