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Poll: Two-Thirds Back Stricter Emissions Limits for Power Plants

Data from the Pew Research Center shows that a majority of Americans support stricter emissions limits to reduce climate change.
In this March 8, 2014 file photo steam from the Jeffrey Energy Center coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the setting sun near St. Marys, Kan. As President Barack Obama prepares to announce tougher new air quality standards affecting coal-fired power plants, lawmakers in about a half-dozen state already have acted pre-emptively. Not to toughen their own standards, but to make it tougher to enforce the new federal ones. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)Charlie Riedel / AP

The day that the Obama administration announced a deal with China to curb carbon emissions, new poll numbers show that a majority of Americans support stricter limits on power plants in order to reduce climate change.

A new post-election poll from the Pew Research Center shows that about two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) back stricter controls on power plant emissions, while 31 percent oppose them.

Thesurvey shows that Republicans are about equally divided on the issue, with 47 percent opposing the limits and 47 percent favoring them.

But a majority of Democrats (77 percent) and independents (67 percent) say they back the power plant regulations.

NBC News/ Wall Street Journal numbers back in June also found that 57% of Americans saying they would approve of a proposal requiring companies to reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming, even if it would mean higher utility bills for consumers.

As Senate Democrats mull a lame-duck session vote on another energy initiative, the Keystone XL pipeline, the Pew data also shows broad support for that initiative.

About six in 10 Americans favor building the oil pipeline, while 31 percent oppose the idea.

But, as with Republican divisions over emissions controls, the pipeline prompts a split within the Democratic Party.

Forty-three percent of Democrats back building it, while 45 percent oppose the project.

- Carrie Dann