Climate Task Force

Americans Favor Carbon Tax Over Cap And Trade, Two-To-One

New survey suggests current Senate climate bill is at odds with voters’ views

WASHINGTON-Today, the U.S. Climate Task Force (CTF) and Future 500 released the results of a new survey by Hart Research, which reveals that three out of four Americans favor legislation to significantly cut carbon emissions — contradicting reports that public support had cooled. Moreover, “Energy And Climate Change Policy: A Survey among American Voters” shows that U.S. voters favor a carbon tax over cap and trade by nearly two-to-one. These findings suggest it’s politically feasible for the U.S. Congress to pass a national emissions policy; lawmakers just need to pick the right one.

The survey, which polled over 1,000 registered voters across the country, found a carbon tax outperforms emissions trading systems across the electorate, including voters in every income bracket, each region of the country, and on both sides of the political aisle. Moreover, those who give higher priority to climate issues are even less likely to support cap-and-trade as the best solution.

This poll reveals that only two percent of voters hold a very positive view of cap and trade – the system at the core of the current Senate bill,” explains Dr. Elaine Kamarck, former senior policy advisor to Vice President Al Gore and current CTF Co-chair comments. “But it’s not too late to salvage the situation. With both the U.N. and the Senate delaying major climate debates until next year, policymakers now have time to make a serious course correction in the emissions debate. And this survey offers Congress – especially those looking ahead to the 2010 midterm elections – the necessary guideposts for success.”

CTF Chair Dr. Robert J. Shapiro, former U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce and senior advisor to Bill Clinton notes, “Support for a carbon tax-shift has been strong among economists and many environmentalists for a long time, because it sets a stable price for carbon, providing businesses and households the incentives they need to develop and adopt climate friendly fuels and technologies. It also provides accompanying tax cuts for American families. This new survey shows that the same attributes that make this policy appealing to these groups also make it the most popular option for two out of every three average Americans.”

By more than two-to-one, Americans want strong action to protect the climate, and they favor using the tax system to help achieve that,” says Bill Shireman, President of Future 500. “We applaud the tremendous progress made to advance climate legislation in the past year. To actually enact required changes into law, Congress will need to improve on the current Boxer-Kerry model, to best meet the climate crisis and unite environmental, business, social justice, and taxpayer interests.”

To request more information or to schedule an interview with a CTF expert, please contact Trice Whitefield at or (202) 579-1103.

The U.S. Climate Task Force (CTF) was created to be a leading voice in the discussion of policy options available to contain the risks of climate change. Founded by Sonecon and joined by Future 500, CTF is advocating that the United States government takes the lead in the global effort to combat climate change by enacting legislation that encourages cost-effective technological advances, innovation and efficiency in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To date, Washington has focused on a narrow range of legislative proposals, many of which inadequately address the entirety of the issue. By offering a unique forum for original research and stakeholder engagement, CTF is fostering a robust discussion about the full range of policy options available to address climate change, to help ensure that whatever climate change action is taken substantially and measurably reduces emissions while imposing the least burden on the economy.

One Response to “

Americans Favor Carbon Tax Over Cap And Trade, Two-To-One

  1. […] Kemp points out some recent surveys (we know of one in December from the US Climate Task Force and Future 500; another by the  Association for Psychological Science this month) have suggested that Americans […]

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