CEI Poll: Public Doesn’t Want to Pay for Climate Change

CEI Poll: Public Doesn't Want to Pay for Climate Change people sit in ghost forest People enjoy a warm afternoon beside the artistic installation "Ghost Forest", by artist and architect Maya Lin, in Madison Square Park on May 13, 2021, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By Brian Freeman | Wednesday, 26 May 2021 10:50 AM

Thirty-five percent of registered voters are unwilling to spend even $1 a month out of pocket to mitigate climate change, according to a new national poll released by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

Fifty percent were unwilling to spend more than $10 out of pocket monthly in order to combat climate change, with only 15% saying they were willing to spend up to $10 of their own money on climate change policies.

Other results concerning climate change in the poll included:

  • While 67% of respondents are either somewhat concerned or very concerned about climate change, when asked if it was a factor in their vote in the election last year, 53% of respondents said no.
  • Only 6% of respondents said it was the top issue they considered when voting in the 2020 election.
  • Fifty-three percent of respondents said they would be somewhat or very unlikely to spend extra money to replace a gas-powered car with an electric vehicle. Only 25% said they would be very or somehat likely to do so, while 17% were neutral on the subject.
  • When asked to name the most important issue facing the country, 26% said the coronavirus pandemic, 22% mentioned jobs and the economy, 15% said immigration and border security, 10% named healthcare, 8% race relations, and only 5% said climate change.
  • When asked how President Joe Biden is handling climate change, 51% said they approved, 34% disapproved, and 15% were unsure or refused to answer.
  • Overall, the poll finds Americans are almost evenly split on the direction of the country, with 50% saying the U.S. is headed in the right direction and 48% saying things have seriously gotten off on the wrong track. The other 2% of respondents were unsure or refused to respond.

CEI President and CEO Kent Lassman said the survey illustrated that "When Americans unexpectedly pay more for gas and utilities because of events like electric grid failures and attacks on our pipelines and with the summer driving season ready to start next week, it is little wonder few voters clamor for costly new regulations."

He emphasized that "There is a lesson here if politicians are willing to listen. Americans recognize that the moment demands policies that lower regulatory barriers to foster economic resilience and to allow the space for an enduring recovery."

CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment Director Myron Ebell added that "This poll shows once again that Americans are unwilling to pay for the left’s anti-energy policies," stressing that "The more people learn about the Biden-Harris Blackout Agenda, the less support there will be for spending trillions of taxpayer dollars for no measurable benefits."

The poll, conducted by CRC Research, is an online survey of 1,200 registered voters nationwide between April 15-18, with a 2.83% overall margin of error at the 95% confidence interval for overall survey.

Respondents were selected randomly from optin panel participants, with a gender breakdown of 48% men and 52% women.