U.S. Public Opinion and the Environment

Two authors scheduled to write for the 2017 Annual Review of Political Science signed a piece in the Washington Post exploring how much resistance U.S. President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s appointee to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) may face.

Citing work they have done for the next volume of our journal, Political Scientists Patrick J. Egan, of New York University, and Megan Mullin, of Duke University, show that of all the issues, the environment is where the political divide between Republicans and Democrats is starkest. While polarization has been growing between left and right, they most disagree on spending to protect the environment, above the reduction of poverty, childcare, schools, and science.

They conclude that President-Elect Trump’s nominee for the EPA, Scott Pruitt, while being the most conservative appointment for the agency since 1981, will probably not see much political resistance for his agenda to reduce regulation to curb climate change.