EPA Is One of the (Relatively) Popular Kids

Despite all the attacks it has suffered, EPA has a better image than either political party. Not to mention Congress.

Republicans — especially the House GOP — often lambaste EPA.  The phrase “jack-booted thugs” will stick in my memory a long time.  A recent NBC/WSJ poll, however, shows EPA is actually one of our more popular institutions:

%Positive %Negative Difference
EPA 40 28 +7
Barack Obama 38 40 -4
Democratic Party 38 50 -2
Republican Party 29 45 -16
The Tea Party 22 41 -19

According to other recent polls, Congress has an approval rating of about 13%.  So, at 40%,  EPA is three  times more popular than Congress. [In fact, after I originally posted this, I learned that the June 19 Gallop poll showed Congress sinking to a 7% approval rating, a historic low.]

Notice that EPA not only  ranks at the top in positive ratings but has the lowest number of negative ratings. Also interestingly, the percentage of the public thinking that most government regulations are necessary has gone up from 42% to 50% over the past twenty years.  Over the same period of time, the number agreeing that “the government should do more” has gone from 32% to 46%.

Of course, attacks on EPA may resonate with the Republican base and with the Koch brothers and other major GOP funders.  But they don’t seem to have nearly as much traction with the public as a whole.

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Reader Comments

One Reply to “EPA Is One of the (Relatively) Popular Kids”

  1. If one polled people who actually know something about EPA rules and policies, eg its GHG foot dragging and denials, you would see way lower numbers (not that these are any good). My guess is 350.org was not among those polled, or the neighbors of Superfund sites, or our polluted inner cities.

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Dan Farber

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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