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Most think the govt should do more to protect the environment

A new study by the Pew Research Center has found that most Americans believe that the federal government is not doing enough to protect air and water quality or to address climate change.

Out of 2,541 survey respondents, 69 percent agree that the United States government could do more to protect the quality of water in lakes, rivers, and streams. In addition, 64 percent feel that stronger measures could be taken to safeguard air quality.

Six out of ten Americans report that climate change is having at least some effect on their local community, with 45 percent pointing to extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, wildfires, and more frequent severe storms.

According to 67 percent of the study participants, the government is doing too little to reduce the effects of climate change.

Regarding whether or not it is possible to cut back on environmental regulations while still effectively protecting air and water quality, Americans are nearly split down the middle. There is also a political divide on this issue, with around 74 percent of Republicans claiming this is possible while 64 percent of Democrats claim that it is not.

In addition, there are wide political differences over whether policies aimed at reducing the effects of climate change have a positive impact on the environment and the economy. Republicans are skeptical, while Democrats are primarily optimistic.

Political parties are also at odds on the subject of global warming and the influence of human activities. Seventy-five percent of Democrats believe the Earth is warming primarily due to human causes, but only 26 percent of Republicans agree.

“While majorities of Americans believe the government isn’t doing enough to protect the environment and reduce the effects of climate change, about half of conservative Republicans see the government as doing about the right amount to protect air and water quality,” said study lead author Cary Funk.

“Republicans and Democrats are largely at odds over how much regulation is needed to safeguard the environment and reduce the effects of climate change.”

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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