The American people spoke on November 8, and they want to ditch efforts to combat climate change, right?
Wrong. According to the first poll since the election to deeply examine the policy views of self-identified Trump voters, 55 percent of them support upholding current climate change policies, with 30 percent saying that the U.S. should implement policies that go further.
The findings came from an online survey of 2,000 Trump voters December 11-13 by the Glover Park Group (GPG) and Morning Consult. They make it clear that Trump won the election not because he said climate change is a hoax or because he said he’s going to promote the burning of more coal. His success at the ballot box was due to his pronouncements on trade, immigration, and the Washington establishment.
The survey also found:
- 61% of these voters say that the government should require U.S. companies to reduce carbon emissions.
- 73% think the government should maintain or increase spending on renewable energy
- 64% believe that the budget for environmental protection should be maintained or increased.
- 76% support a plan that would require manufacturers to make appliances more energy efficient.
- 57% think we should keep the same amount or increase regulation of oil and gas companies.
Obviously, the president-elect is not going to read these results and tell Scott Pruitt, his choice to head EPA, to push ahead with the Clean Power Plan. It’s a safe bet that the regulatory approach to battling climate change is not viable for at least the next four years.
But a free-market solution should have potential in the new political environment. In fact, Secretary of State designate Rex Tillerson supports a carbon fee, as do most economists--by a large margin over any other option.
In addition, such a fee can generate significant revenue and thus make it possible to invest in infrastructure and reform the tax code, without pushing the national debt into the stratosphere. (Admittedly, some people think it’s already at that level.)
The Partnership for Responsible Growth urges the new president and Congress to examine this creative compromise. It can enable our country to make significant progress on three top priorities: a three-for.
To see more results from this survey, go to http://gpg.com/gpg-survey-trump-voters-december-2016/.