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Public Support for Climate & Energy Policies in January 2010

Today the Yale Project on Climate Change is releasing the second wave of results from their recent national survey. This report finds that, despite the recent drops in public beliefs and concern about global warming, a large majority of Americans—regardless of political affiliation—support the passage of federal climate and energy policies. These include support for:

  • Funding more research on renewable energy, such as solar and wind power (85 percent)
  • Tax rebates for people buying fuel-efficient vehicles or solar panels (82 percent)
  • Establishing programs to teach Americans how to save energy (72 percent)
  • Regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant (71 percent)
  • School curricula to teach children about the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to global warming (70 percent)
  • Signing an international treaty that requires the U.S. to cut emissions of carbon dioxide 90% by the year 2050 (61 percent)
  • Establishing programs to teach Americans about global warming (60 percent).

Surprisingly, majorities of Republicans and Democrats support many of these policies, including renewable energy research, tax rebates, regulating carbon dioxide, and expanding offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. Further, majorities in both parties support returning revenues from a cap-and-trade system to American households to offset higher energy costs, perhaps opening a pathway for Congressional action.