For months, Republicans have spent a tremendous amount of energy railing against the Green New Deal, the pitch from progressives to drastically reduce the nation's contributions to global warming while checking off a list of liberal aspirations, such as improving health-care access.
If the goal of the anti-Green New Deal campaign was to sour the plan in the minds of Republican voters, it appears to be working.
New polling from Yale and George Mason universities suggests that support for that climate plan from prominent freshman congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) dropped steeply among Republicans over the past four months since she and other lawmakers formally introduced it in February.
In December, the Yale and George Mason team found few people of any partisan background had heard much about the Green New Deal, the idea of which had been gaining traction within progressive activist circles ahead of the 2018 election.
But when people were provided a description of its aspirations — but not of any of its potential costs or drawbacks — big majorities said they supported the idea, including most Democrats, Republicans and independents.
In the ensuing months the Green New Deal has gotten a lot of attention, so much so that by April nearly 3 in 5 U.S. adults said they've heard at least a little about it. And over the same period, opinions of the Green New Deal have also grown more partisan.
Support for the Green New Deal among self-indentified conservative Republicans shot down from 57 percent to 32 percent. Among moderate Republicans, support similarly fell from three-fourths to about two-thirds.
During that time, Republicans honed a message of opposition to the idea. Lawmakers claimed the Green New Deal, if enacted, would ban hamburgers, air travel and even ice cream.
That tsunami of dissent came even though Ocasio-Cortez's resolution does not mention any of those three things. Instead, an erroneous summary of the Green New Deal published by her office, but then retracted, mentioned eventually wanting to get rid of “farting cows and airplanes.”
Still, pundits on Fox News echoed that message, and they were apparently effective: support for the Green New Deal among Republicans is lower among frequent Fox viewers than it is with those who watch the network less often, according to the George Mason-Yale survey.
“Fox News really does punch hard, and is enormously influential in terms of shaping the views of conservative Americans,” said Edward Maibach, a George Mason professor who helped put together the poll.
The survey measured support for the Green New Deal in an unorthodox way, providing a paragraph-long description of the program that said its supporters claim it will “produce jobs and strengthen America’s economy by accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.”
It continued: “The 'Deal' would generate 100% of the nation's electricity from clean, renewable sources within the next 10 years, upgrade the nation’s energy grid, buildings and transportation infrastructure, increase energy efficiency, invest in 'green' technology research and development, and provide training for jobs in the new 'green' economy.”
The language did not include any mention of the possible costs of the program. Maibach said that was because, at the time the question was first written in December, there were no cost estimates to cite.
Since then, analysts at conservative think tanks have come up with their own price tags for the deal reaching as high as $100 trillion, though supporters of the plan dispute those estimates as misleading. The independent Congressional Budget Office, which provides official nonpartisan budget analyses to lawmakers, has not scored the deal. The GOP-controlled Senate ended up rejecting the deal as written in a March vote.
Where does support for the Green New Deal stand without such a description? A March national poll by the Winston Group, a Republican pollster, simply asked whether voters had a favorable or unfavorable view of the Green New Deal, or had no opinion of it all. That survey found 28 percent of voters were favorable to the idea, 36 percent viewed it unfavorably and 22 percent had no opinion.
Scott Clement contributed to this report.
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Meanwhile: House Democrats are planning to pass their own disaster-aid bill on Friday, which includes more funding for Puerto Rico than what has been backed by Senate Republicans. “The House move appears unlikely to break the stalemate in the Senate, but some lawmakers hope it could set the stage for a final resolution next week,” they add.
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Barragán was not satisfied with the response, calling on Perry to send additional information to her office about how the agency is addressing inequalities. She said Perry's reply didn't reflect how some communities “disproportionately have the burden of injustices that are happening from air pollution” and that the secretary's answer deviated from the agency’s own definition of environmental justice, the Hill reports.
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- The Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee holds a hearing on mineral security and related legislation on May 14.
- The House Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on the Interior Budget and fiscal 2020 policy priorities on May 15.
- The House Ways and Means Committee holds a hearing on the economic and health consequences of climate change on May 15.
— Happy Snow-mencement: The University of Colorado’s commencement was cut short because of a bizarre May snowstorm, reports The Post’s Jason Samenow, who added that Colorado was one of 11 states that saw a late dose of spring snow Thursday.