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Mixed Reviews for EPA—47% Favorable, 45% Unfavorable


Protecting the environment is a concept most Americans embrace, but they're not so sure about the agency set up to handle that mission.

Just 47% of Likely Voters nationwide have a favorable opinion of the Environmental Protection Agency, sometimes known as the EPA. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that nearly as many, 45%, have an unfavorable view of the regulatory giant.

Those figures include 13% with a Very Favorable opinion of the EPA and 18% with a Very Unfavorable view.

One of the challenges for the EPA comes from the fact that 40% believe most EPA regulations are bad for the economy. Only 35% believe they offer a positive economic benefit. Nine percent (9%) think they have no impact and 16% are not sure.

There is also a desire by many for increased accountability. Forty-nine percent (49%) believe that all proposed EPA regulations should be approved by Congress before implementation. Thirty-one percent (31%) disagree. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Seventy-two percent (72%) of Democrats have a favorable opinion of the EPA while 66% of Republicans offer a negative review. Voters not affiliated with either major party are evenly divided. A similar pattern is found on other questions. Most Republicans believe EPA regulations are bad for the economy while most Democrats view them as good. Among unaffiliated voters, 27% say the regulations are good for the economy, 34% say bad, 14% say they have no impact and 25% are not sure.

When it comes to obtaining congressional approval for new regulations, most Republicans and a plurality of unaffiliated voters support the notion. Democrats are evenly divided.

Evangelical Christians and other Protestants tend to have a more negative than positive opinion of the EPA. Catholics are evenly divided. Outside of these faith groups, the perception of the EPA is much better,  with 59% offering a positive opinion.

Men, by a 46% to 32% margin, believe that EPA regulations are bad for the economy. Women are evenly divided. 

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information.  We poll on a variety of topics in the fields of politics, business and lifestyle, updating our site's content on a news cycle throughout the day, everyday.

Rasmussen Reports Platinum Members get an all-access pass to polling news, analysis and insight not available to the general public.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 18-19, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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©2011 Rasmussen Reports, LLC
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