Poll: Over 60% of Americans think climate change needs to be addressed

Mass. officials praise move by Obama on power plants

President Barack Obama departs after speaking about his Clean Power Plan, Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in the East Room at the White House in Washington. The president is mandating even steeper greenhouse gas cuts from U.S. power plants than previously expected, while granting states more time and broader options to comply. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP/AP) – Some people in western Massachusetts told 22News they think climate change is real and something has to be done about it.

According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, 65-percent of American voters agree with Pope Francis that something has to be done to address what scientist call climate change.

Henry Albin of Greenfield told 22News it’s hard to refute the evidence that something is changing in the atmosphere.  He said, “I think there’s a lot of evidence to back it up at this point and the majority of scientist state its happening. I mean, we can experience it ourselves. It’s not global warming as people seem to think it is. It’s actual climate change. The climate is changing. Areas are getting hotter, areas are getting colder.”

Some political analyst believe climate change is going to be a big topic for debate in the upcoming 2016 presidential race. The poll also found that 68-percent of people believe climate change is caused by humans.

Early Monday, President Barack Obama announced at the White House that the EPA is setting the first ever nationwide standards to end limitless dumping of carbon pollution from power plants. Obama’s decision may be running into opposition in some states, but in Massachusetts fellow Democrats are hailing the move.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Monday joined other state attorneys general and local governments pledging to defend the new rules in court.

Sen. Edward Markey called the plan ambitious and achievable, saying it could help avoid the worse consequences of climate change. Rep. Niki Tsongas also said the mandate could protect future generations.

Environmental activists like the Sierra Club, the Conservation Law Foundation, and Environment Massachusetts also praised the plan, calling it good for business and the environment and saying it will help encourage solar and wind energy.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, vowed to use legislation to block the plan.

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