Evan Lehmann, E&E reporter
ClimateWire: Thursday, April 16, 2015
A large majority of Americans support taxing carbon emissions, according to polling results released yesterday, and favorability rises to two-thirds if the tax is used to send money back to households.
The survey by Stanford University and Resources for the Future also found that efforts by environmental organizations to increase urgency around climate change by pointing to extreme weather isn't working, and neither are efforts to erode people's belief in global warming by questioning the science.
"There is really no evidence here at all that the disinformation campaign has successfully, dramatically reduced confidence in environmental scientists," said Jon Krosnick, a Stanford professor who oversaw the poll.
He points to consistent levels of trust in climate scientists since 2006, when the survey first asked the question. In the latest poll, 71 percent of respondents say they trust scientists at least moderately. Nine years ago, the number was 72 percent.
On a carbon tax, the poll found that 61 percent of respondents favor taxing corporations for releasing greenhouse gas emissions. There's stronger support for a carbon tax that provides rebates to American households; 67 percent agree with that policy.
That roughly equates to a revenue-neutral carbon tax, which is being promoted among a small but growing number of Democratic lawmakers and conservative think tanks. The policy is based on the idea that national tax revenue will stay the same with the introduction of a carbon tax, because other taxes, like those on income or corporations, will be reduced.
"We're tremendously encouraged," Charles Komanoff, director of the Carbon Tax Center, said of the poll's findings. "We're not dumbstruck by it, because we've been sensing a shift in opinion that the tide is moving our way. But it's fantastic to get this kind of confirmation."
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