Rasmussen Reports: Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Fifty-six percent (56%) of Americans say they are not willing to pay more in and utility costs to generate cleaner energy and fight global warming.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, taken since the bill was passed on Friday, finds that 21% of Americans are willing to pay $100 more per year for cleaner energy and to counter global warming. Only 14% are willing to pay more than that amount.
Fifty-two percent (52%) of all adults say it is more important to keep the cost of energy as low as possible than it is to develop clean, environmentally friendly sources of energy. But 41% disagree and say developing cleaner, greener energy sources is the priority.
Sixty-three percent (63%) rate creating jobs as more important than taking steps to stop global warming. For 22%, stopping global warming is more important.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats believe it is more important to develop clean, environmentally friendly sources of energy than to keep the cost of energy down. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Republicans and 57% of unaffiliated adults disagree and put the emphasis on keeping the cost of energy down.
As is often the case, there’s a telling division between the views of populist or Mainstream America and the Political Class. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Mainstream Americans say they are not willing to pay higher taxes and utility costs to generate cleaner energy and fight global warming, compared to only 17% of the Political Class.
For 57% of the Political Class taking steps to stop global warming is more important than job creation, while 71% of Mainstream America believe job creation is more important.
Forty percent (40%) of U.S. voters say global warming is a very serious problem, but voters are narrowly divided over whether it is caused by human activity or long-term planetary trends. In recent surveys, voters have been moving away from the idea that humans are to blame.
Americans have mixed feelings about the historic climate change bill that passed the House on Friday, but 42% say it will hurt the U.S. economy.
The bill is intended to reduce heat-trapping gases that some scientists say cause global warming. Even its supporters say the measure, which includes a so-called “cap and trade” plan,” will have a major impact on the economy.
President Obama is a champion of the bill and is prepared to sign it into law. But while the bill passed narrowly in the House, it faces tougher opposition in the Senate. The legislation has little GOP support because of questions about the science behind it and the potential cost.
Another major initiative promoted by the president also divides the general public. Fifty percent (50%) favor the president’s health reform plan while 45% are opposed.
In May, only 24% of voters could correctly identify the “cap-and-trade” plan as something that deals with environmental issues.
It is quite common to find Americans more favorable toward new government proposals until a price tag is attached. For example, Americans are evenly divided over the idea of making free health care available to every one in the country, but opposition grows dramatically when their own health insurance is involved.