Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poll: Americans back climate change regulation, not taxes

Date:
February 7, 2013
Source:
Duke University
Summary:
Now that President Obama has put climate change back on the table in his second inaugural address, a new national poll finds growing public support for regulating greenhouse gas emissions and requiring utilities to switch to lower-carbon fuel sources.

Now that President Obama has put climate change back on the table in his second inaugural address, a new national poll finds growing public support for regulating greenhouse gas emissions and requiring utilities to switch to lower-carbon fuel sources.

The percentage of Americans who think climate change is occurring has rebounded, according to the Duke University national online survey, and is at its highest level since 2006. The study also finds that while Americans support regulating greenhouse gas emissions, they do not favor market-based approaches such as cap-and-trade or a carbon tax.

Sixty-four percent of Americans strongly or somewhat favor regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, factories and cars and requiring utilities to generate more power from "clean" low-carbon sources.

Only 29 percent strongly support or somewhat support a carbon tax. Returning revenue to taxpayers through a $500 tax rebate only slightly increases support for a carbon tax, to 34 percent. The survey indicates that many Americans haven't formed an opinion about the cap-and-trade approach: although support is low, 36 percent are neither for nor against.

"The survey shows strikingly high numbers of Americans accept that the climate is changing, but support for market-based approaches such as a carbon tax and a system of tradable emissions are not popular among survey respondents," said Sarah Adair, co-author and associate in research at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. "Support rises when asked about more familiar concepts of regulation, such as performance standards, but respondents appear to have little or no knowledge about the possible use of a cap-and-trade system to address climate change."

The Duke study examined public attitudes regarding climate change and the major policy options that President Obama might pursue in his second term. It was conducted by Frederick Mayer and Alex Pfaff of Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy and Adair of the Nicholas Institute.

"Whether in response to extreme weather events like mega-storm Sandy or the improved economy, public opinion has clearly rebounded from its low point of a couple years ago," said Mayer, associate professor of public policy and political science. "Although there appears to be little prospect for tax or cap-and-trade legislation in the current Congress, there is a clear opening for stronger regulation and investments in clean energy."

Other key findings of the poll:

  • The percentage of Americans who agree there is solid evidence of a changing climate has steadily increased since 2010, based on an analysis of several national climate change polls. The Duke poll found 50 percent of Americans are convinced the climate is changing and another 34 percent say it is probably changing, an increase from other recent polls.
  • 54 percent feel climate change is primarily the result of human activity.
  • There are strong partisan differences in the perceived seriousness of the problem. About half of Democrats say it is "very serious" while 35 percent of Independents and 17 percent of Republicans agree.
  • Although Democrats are more willing than Republicans to support all policies, the preference for a regulatory or clean energy approach is shared across party lines.

The Internet survey was conducted Jan. 16-22, 2013, by Duke in partnership with KnowledgePanel and involved e-mails to randomly selected households throughout the United States. The margin of error for 1,089 respondents was 3 percentage points. Funding for the survey came from Duke's Climate Policy Working Group.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Duke University. "Poll: Americans back climate change regulation, not taxes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207131612.htm>.
Duke University. (2013, February 7). Poll: Americans back climate change regulation, not taxes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207131612.htm
Duke University. "Poll: Americans back climate change regulation, not taxes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207131612.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Driving Sports (July 24, 2014) Subaru Rally Team USA drivers David Higgins and Travis Pastrana face off against a global contingent of racers at the annual Mt. Washington Hillclimb in New Hampshire. Includes exclusive in-car footage from Higgins' record attempt. Video provided by Driving Sports
Powered by NewsLook.com
Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) A likely tornado tears through an eastern Virginia campground, killing three and injuring at least 20. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins