Poll: Voters Oppose Costly CO2 Restrictions

James Taylor

While the U.S. Senate takes up the Waxman-Markey bill that restricts carbon dioxide emissions, a new poll shows registered voters oppose legislation that would increase energy costs.

The poll is particularly significant because even the most optimistic cost assessments acknowledge Waxman-Markey – which squeaked through the House June 26 -- will raise energy prices and reduce consumer purchasing power.

The new poll, a sampling of 807 registered voters conducted by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, reports 58% of American voters are unwilling to pay any more than they currently pay for electricity to combat climate change. Importantly, not one respondent indicated a willingness to pay over 20% more on their monthly electricity bill to combat climate change.

Moreover, 68% of voters disagree with the idea that Congress should enact a carbon tax to encourage consumers to cut back on their electricity usage.

The new poll confirms several other recent polls showing voters are somewhat concerned about global warming but are not prepared to pay higher energy prices to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.