Sunday, February 05, 2012

Interesting Phone Poll on EPA Regs

Some days blog posts just write themselves.  This afternoon I took part in a very lengthy telephone poll.  It was the longest and most detailed telephone poll I have ever participated in.  I took notes while listening to the questions and answering and those notes are provided below but they should not be taken as a transcript.  The caller said the questions did not branch depending on the answers provided.  The caller had talked with people who gave differing answers at various points in the survey and the questions remained the same.  The primary topic was environmental regulation.  The caller did not know who had paid for the poll.  The caller was willing to give the name of the polling firm but there would be any number of ways of spelling it and I can’t find anything online that seems to fit.  While the poll was Pennsylvania specific the firm and callers must not be local because the caller mispronounced the name of at least one of the elected officials referenced.   I will be especially interested in the slogans used when discussing EPA regulations since it is clear I was taking part in something like a focus group. 

Here are the questions / topics:

Does anyone in the household work for radio or tv
Has anyone in the house worked on a political campaign
What is the likelihood that I will vote in the next election
What is your age
Are you [various ethnic minorities]
Do you have a positive or negative view of:
  • Barack Obama
  • Mitt Romney
  • the CEOs of the majority of utility companies
  • the coal industry
  • the American Lung Association
  • public health workers, like doctors and nurses
  • my utility company
  • GeOn Energy (this is the name of a specific company)
  • Sen. Bob Casey, Jr.
  • Environmental organizations
  • Gov. Tom Corbett
  • Sen. Pat Toomey
  • the EPA
Do you favor:
  •  limits on power plants for air pollution
  • The EPA’s new regulations to limit [missed the rest of the question]
Do new pollution rules for health and environmental protection outweigh economic costs?
How familiar are you with each of these terms
  • Global warming
  • Greenhouse gasses
  • Climate change
  • Industrial carbon emissions
  • Mercury
  • Industrial carbon pollution
  • Carbon footprint
Do you see these as a threat?
  • Carbon footprint
  • Global warming
  • Industrial carbon emissions
  • Industrial carbon pollution
  • Mercury
  • Climate change
  • Greenhouse gasses
The EPA proposes new rules to curb mercury emissions.  Do you favor this?
Do you favor EPA regulations to reduce carbon emissions
In the regulations on carbon there are currently no limits. 
In considering new regulations do the health benefits outweigh possible job losses?
Should new power plants use newly developed technologies to limit emissions?
Should existing power plants be required to limit emissions
Would this factor into your view positively or negatively?
  • Health impact
  • Cost of electricity
  • Jobs and economy
  • Reliability of electricity
  • Air quality
  • Quality of air
  • Number of extreme weather events
Are these factors important or not?
  • Impact on air quality
  • Impact on jobs and economy
  • Health
  • Cost of electricity
  • # of extreme weather events
  • Reliability of electricity
  • Climate change
The caller provided information on the impact of carbon pollution on asthma attacks and emphysema and asked the impact of this on family.

The caller read several statements and asked if I would believe them or not if told they were from doctors, nurses, and scientists.  They were too lengthy to jot down but they related to health and carbon.  There were also statements about American Electrical Power that also pertained to power supplies, something about 440 death in Pennsylvania related to the health effects of power plants, something about the EPA being opposed to new regulations, premature deaths due to health impacts of air quality, replacing or retooling power plants and power plant companies won’t do this without government requirements, extreme weather, health care costs, and climate change.  

If people are opposed to power plant regulations it is because
  • they place the recovery of jobs above all else
  • want controlled progress with delays until the economy recovers
  • the effects of pollution are not felt until 50 years from now but economic issues felt now
  • businesses suffer
  • green jobs have not materialized [referenced Solyndra and the ban on drilling costing jobs]
  • regulations limit energy choices for energy independence
The caller read two statements and asked my opinion.  One referenced job killing regulations, compromising energy independence.  The other said health concerns outweigh that.
If Mitt Romney opposes the regulations would I like them or oppose them more.
If Barack Obama opposes them would I like them or oppose them more.
If Mitt Romney was in favor would I like them or oppose them more
If Barack Obama was in favor would I like them or oppose them more
What is the best reason to support new regulation? [open ended]
What would make me oppose  them? [open ended]
On a numbered scale do you like the following as a name for regulations?
  • Carbon Pollution Reduction Standards
  • American Family Clean Air Defense
  • American Clean Air Defense
  • American Clean Power Standards
  • Clean Power for American Standards
The caller asked my political affiliation, whether I considered myself liberal, conservative or middle of the road, how closely did I follow DC policies, did I have children under 18, religious affiliation, if I belonged to a labor union, marital status, was I concerned about the environment, and general income level.

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