Poll: Majority of Americans Want Action on Climate to Rebuild U.S. Economy

Most Want Economic Rebuilding Paid for with Carbon Auction, not Taxes or Debt

November 11, 2008
Contact: 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Tony Kreindler, 202-572-3378 (office), 202-210-5791 (cell), akreindler@edf.org
 
(Washington, DC – November 11, 2008) According to new post-election poll results released today by Environmental Defense Fund, a majority of Americans say that given the current economic crisis, now is the time to address climate change -- because investing in clean energy will create millions of new jobs and rebuild the economy.
 
The survey, conducted by respected Democratic pollster Douglas E. Schoen, also found that two-thirds of Americans think investments in economic stimulus should be funded with revenue from large companies paying for the global warming pollution they emit – rather than tax hikes or more borrowing that increases the national debt.
 
“The public thinks there’s not a minute to waste,” said Steve Cochran, national climate campaign director at EDF. “They want economic revitalization and action to address global warming to go together, and they want it paid for.”
 
The national survey was conducted on the evening of November 4th. Its goal was to measure public support for climate change legislation amid a time of economic recession and in anticipation of a new President and Congress.
 
Full results are available online at edf.org/electiondaypoll.  Key findings include:
 
-         Fifty-eight percent of respondents said investments in new, clean energy could create millions of new jobs, so now is the time to address climate change.
 
-         Sixty-six percent said that Congress should fund economic stimulus with revenue generated from large companies that pay for the global warming pollution they create, rather than new taxes or more borrowing.
 
 
-         Over three-quarters said it is important to address the problem of global warming, and half of the sample says that the issues of oil addiction and economic problems need to be addressed together.
 
The poll, conducted by telephone with a random sample of the American population, asked voters about the election, as well as a specific series of questions about environmental issues, climate change, and some of the tradeoffs facing the new administration. The margin of error for this poll is +/- 3.5%.
 
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Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. For more information, visit www.edf.org.
 
 
 
Environmental Defense Fund National Poll
Survey of 600 Voters in Presidential Election
November 4, 2008
 
1.      Who did you vote for?
·        44% John McCain
·        53% Barack Obama
·        1% Bob Barr
·        1% Ralph Nader
·        1% Some other candidate
           
2.      Given our economic situation, which comes closer to your view?
·        58% Investments in new, clean energy could create millions of new jobs, so now is the    time to address the problems of global warming and climate change.
·        30% It is less important to address the problems of global warming and climate change, given the high energy prices and economic downturn in our country
·        11% Not sure
 
3.      Generally speaking, do you think it is very important, somewhat important, not very important, or not at all important to address the problems of global warming and climate change?
·        48% Very important
·        30% Somewhat important
·        14% Not very important
·        8% Not at all important
·        1% Not sure
 
4.      Which of the following would you say is the best way to create jobs and stimulate the economy?
·        39% Investment in building clean energy products, thus promoting energy independence and creating manufacturing jobs
·        7% Investing in road and bridge repair
·        27% Cutting government spending
·        12% Cutting taxes
·        8% None of the above
·        7% Not sure
 
5.      Which statement best reflects your view?
·        26% Congress needs to deal with the problem of America’s addiction to oil because it undermines our long-term economic future and causes pollution
·        13% Dealing with our energy problems will have to be delayed while Congress focuses on economic issues
·        50% Our oil addiction and long-term economic problems are related and Congress should deal with them together
·        10% Not sure
 
6.      If Congress decides there is a need to invest more money to stimulate the economy to create jobs, what would you say is the best way to pay for it – by using revenue generated by making large companies pay for the global warming pollution they produce?
·        10% Increasing taxes
·        7% Borrowing more money through increasing government debt
·        66% Using revenue generated from large companies that pay for the pollution they create that leads to global warming
·        18% Not sure
 
7.      Okay…Which of the following is most important to be near the top of the next president’s agenda in January?
·        25% New regulations for the financial services industry
·        40% Creating jobs by investing in renewable energy projects
·        19% Reviewing our national security strategy
·        16% Not sure
 
8.      In your view, is it more important to limit the amount of regulation that is placed on business, or to work to implement new rules that make sure companies produce clean, renewable energy to promote environmental standards and energy independence?
·        25% Limit the amount of regulation that is placed on businesses
·        61% Implement new rules that make sure companies produce clean, renewable energy to promote environmental standards and energy independence
·        15% Not sure
 
9.      Would you strongly favor, moderately favor, moderately oppose or strongly oppose a legislation to cut foreign oil imports and reduce environmental pollution?
·        39% Strongly favor
·        37% Moderately favor
·        9% Moderately oppose
·        7% Strongly oppose
·        8% Not sure
 
10. Would you still support this legislation if it raised your home energy bill by $5 a month?
·        77% Yes, still support it
·        16% No, would oppose it
·        7% Not sure
 
11. What if your energy bill increased by $10?
·        58% Yes, still support it
·        31% No, would oppose it
·        11% Not sure