New Survey Finds Voters Skeptical of Government Action on Climate Change

WASHINGTON – Today, the American Energy Alliance has released the results of a nationwide survey of 1005 likely voters (margin of error = 3.1%) revealing Americans’ perspective on issues related to the Green New Deal, climate change, and the federal fuel economy mandate. The findings include: 

  • Consistent with previous polling, very few voters identify climate change as a priority issue. Only 3% identified “environment” in total as one of the most pressing issues facing the United States, and less than 1% specifically mentioned climate change.

  • With respect to solutions, respondents remain confident that solutions are likely to come from innovators (39%) and consumer demand (19%) than government action (25%). 

  • Voters’ willingness to pay for solutions also remains stable (and very modest). When asked how much they would be willing to pay annually to address global warming, the median response was $50 while 35% responded zero. 

  • When told the Green New Deal would cause the federal government to double in size by 2030, 61% of voters were totally opposed compared to 26% who were in favor. 

  • Throughout the poll, when more specifics were included in questioning, respondents became even more pro-free market in their answers. For example, when descriptions of capitalism and socialism were given (voluntary exchanges vs. mandated exchanges), capitalism was favored over socialism by 55 percentage points. 
  • When asked whether they trusted the federal government to decide what kind of cars or transportation technologies should be subsidized or mandated, 69% said they did not. 73% said the consumer should make decisions about what kind of cars to buy and what kinds of fuels to use, not the federal government or state governments. 

Topline results can be found here.

Read MWR Strategies’ analysis here.

AEA President Thomas Pyle made the following statement:

“No matter how much coastal elites belabor their talking points on climate change, across ideological and demographic groups, typical Americans are rightfully skeptical of government’s ability to find solutions. The so-called consensus that progressives reference on the ‘need to act’ is not there. Voters are divided, as they have been for years, on whether additional federal regulations or taxes are needed to address climate change. 

Before Democrats put forward more radical climate proposals like the Green New Deal, they must face reality and recognize the priorities and very real concerns of voters when it comes to government’s inability to implement meaningful solutions. Voters consistently prefer capitalism over socialism by a wide margin; our representatives in Congress should reflect those values and empower private sector innovation, not government coercion, to spur a cleaner environment as it has been doing for years.”

Mike McKenna of MWR Strategies, whose firm conducted the poll stated:

“After over a decade of polling on energy and environment issues, we’ve seen that voters’ views on climate change and their willingness to make sacrifices to address the issue remain unchanged. U.S. voters remain defensive against any attempts by government to reach deeper into their pockets. The Green New Deal may have some aspirational elements that poll favorably, but when specifics are brought into the equation, voters express very strong reservations about the potential effect on the size and spending of the federal government. Advocates for the Green New Deal know that, which is why they avoid specifics and focus on aspirations as much as possible.” 

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