HARRISBURG, Pa., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Four out of five Pennsylvanians
want stronger and faster state regulations against mercury pollution from
power plants instead of the proposed federal rule, according to a poll
released today at a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg.
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This poll comes as legislation is being considered in the General
Assembly to ban the proposal by Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) to adopt a new regulation that the state's coal-fired
power plants must reduce mercury pollution by 90 percent by 2015. The
legislation would instead require Pennsylvania to follow the federal rule,
which the Commonwealth and 13 other states, four Native American tribes and
five environmental groups have challenged in court as illegal, and which
could result in little appreciable mercury cleanup in Pennsylvania.
The poll was performed for Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future
(PennFuture), which is working with more than 60 organizations including
the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, the Pennsylvania State
Nurses Association, the Pennsylvania Parent Teachers Association, the
Learning Disabilities Association and the Pennsylvania Council of Churches
to support the state proposal.
"Pennsylvanians across the state want stronger protection from mercury
pollution and they appear willing to pay for it," said Jan Jarrett, vice
president of PennFuture. "While they don't know the details of the current
debate on how to regulate mercury, they certainly understand mercury's risk
to developing babies and more than half are aware that the state's power
plants create the lion's share of mercury pollution. Given these findings,
it does not surprise me that four out of five citizens are willing to pay a
dollar more per month in electricity costs to get the plants cleaned up."
The poll highlights the priority most Pennsylvanians put on
environmental protection generally, and mercury pollution control and
public health specifically. For example, 86 percent want the state of
Pennsylvania to do more to protect air quality, and 74 percent believe that
mercury air emissions from power plants are a serious threat. Survey
respondents also indicated that they believe government rules, not
voluntary company actions, are likely to make a difference, with only 13
percent believing that power plants will cut pollution voluntarily. And on
this issue, just like so many others, the respondents are impatient with
elected officials; 63 percent are less likely to vote for an elected
official who votes against the strong state rule.
The poll of 506 Pennsylvanians was conducted by Terry Madonna Opinion
Research of Lancaster from April 27 through May 9, 2006. The margin of
error is 4.4 percent; final survey results were weighted to adjust for
different selection probabilities and non-response. More details on the
poll are available at http://www.pennfuture.org.
SOURCE Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture)