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By Alexandra Branscombe
June 26, 2014
Caption : Americans are willing to step up to climate change, according to a recent national poll, which showed that majority of Americans are willing to pay more for energy if it meant reducing climate change.     

Americans are willing to step up to climate change, according to a recent Bloomberg National Poll, which showed that a majority of Americans are willing to pay more for energy if it meant reducing climate change.

62 percent of Americans polled said that they were willing to bear more energy costs to reduce climate change, versus 33 percent that said they weren’t willing, making it a near two to one ratio in favor of renewable energy.

“It is a rare poll where people responding will stand up and say ‘tax me,’” said J. Ann Selzer, founder of Selzer & Co. in Des Moines, Iowa, to Bloomberg.

The poll showed that within party lines, 82 percent of Democrats were willing to pay more for energy, versus 60 percent of Independents, and 46 percent of Republicans. But only 49 percent of Republicans were opposed to paying a bigger bill, splitting the party fairly closely.

This poll adds to a growing number of studies that reveal Americans are willing to rally for climate action. A similar poll recently conducted by the Washington Post also shows that a majority of Americans think that climate change is very serious, and that the government should regulate carbon emissions, even at the cost of a larger energy bill.

Another poll by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication mirrored the Bloomberg poll, showing that Americans support setting strict restrictions on carbon emissions from coal-fired plants two to one, and a study from 2012 in Nature Climate Change had already found “that the average US citizen is willing to pay US$162 per year in higher electricity bill.”

The Bloomberg National Poll was conducted from June 6 to 9, right after the Obama administration unveiled new carbon emissions expectations for utility companies that require cutting emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Barclays Plc (BARC) has estimated that the new emissions rules would add 10 percent to electric utilities by 2030, and the Obama administration calculated that the utilities and customers will spend up to $8.8 billion to reach the new standard.

 

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