American Voters Concerned about Economy, Not Climate

Climate change remains at the bottom
 with respect to both priorities and willingness to pay.

WASHINGTON DC (May 27, 2020) – Today, the American Energy Alliance, America’s premier energy think tank, recently partnered with MWR Strategies to field a nationwide survey of 1000 likely voters (margin of error 3.1%).  We have attached the topline results.

AEA President Tom Pyle said this about the survey results

“Consistent with our research over a decade or more, respondents place no priority on climate change.  To the extent they do imagine there is a problem, they have no confidence in ability of the federal government to solve it.  More importantly, there is even less willingness to pay for anything to address climate change than there had been previously.

“The bottom line is that if our current experience with the coronavirus and government’s response to it has changed any sentiments towards climate change, it has deteriorated voters’ concern about climate change and their willingness to pay for any of the schemes ostensibly designed to ‘solve’ the problem.”

Results included:

  • When we have asked respondents to identify the most and second most pressing issue facing the United States across the years, climate change is almost invariably last on the list.  In this survey, we split the sample and offered both a list of possible responses that we read, as well as simply asking people to identify what they thought the most pressing issue is.  In both instances, climate change was at the bottom of the list.”
  • The data tells a pretty clear story.  Despite 30 years of effort of steady drumbeat by the alarmists, a little less than one in five (19%) identified global warming as a crisis.
  • Consistent with previous research (again), few voters are looking for the government to solve the problem.  More than half of voters believe that innovators and entrepreneurs (34%) or consumer demand (19%) are more likely to solve the problem than government action (28%).
  • One departure from previous research appeared in willingness to pay.  When asked how much they would be willing to pay each year to address global warming, the median answer (which had been trending towards 50 dollars for a number of years) was 20 dollars, with 32% of respondents answering “zero”.
  • Finally, even though respondents were evenly split on the wisdom of a federal tax on carbon dioxide (44% oppose/43% favor), a sizable majority (68%) do not trust the federal government to spend from such a tax wisely.

The full survey and results can be read here.

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