Majorities of Californians Support Law to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fees on Emitters with Taxpayer Rebates

Download file

San Francisco, CA – A new statewide poll conducted for Next 10 by Field Research Corporation finds that a majority of California voters support both the state’s landmark 2006 law that requires reducing greenhouse gas emissions (58%), and imposing a fee on companies that emit these gases if most of the money collected is returned back to state residents (64%).

More voters think state energy policy encouraging new cleaner energy technologies will add jobs (36%) than take jobs away (14%). Another 41% say such policies will have no effect on jobs. In addition, a large majority (69%) agrees that “California can reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and expand jobs and economic prosperity at the same time,” with 44% agreeing strongly. The size of the majority in agreement, however, is down somewhat from earlier Next 10/Field Research surveys conducted over the past three years -- 74% in 2008 and 83% in 2007.

“Even in these hard economic times, most California voters remain bullish about the prospects of green energy technologies having a beneficial effect on the state’s economy,” said Mark DiCamillo, Senior Vice President of Field Research Corporation.

“The financial crisis has hit hard in California, so it is not surprising to see that the current recession is causing somewhat greater uncertainty,” said F. Noel Perry, founder of Next 10. “Yet this research shows that large majorities of voters continue to believe that clean energy policies don’t take jobs away, and that expanding jobs, growing the economy and reducing global warming emissions are mutually compatible goals.”

The survey also finds that two in three voters (64%) would favor imposing a fee on companies that emit greenhouse gases if most of the money collected is rebated back to state residents, with 41% strongly in favor of this approach.

When asked to choose which of four possible methods of returning money collected from such fees back to the public they preferred, voters’ top two choices are through state income tax rebates (29%) or a reduction in the state sales tax (28%). Two other alternatives -- reducing residential electricity rates (23%) and mailing every Californian an equal share of the proceeds annually by check (14%) – receive somewhat less support.

Sample Details

The findings in this report are based on a telephone survey of California registered voters by Field Research Corporation for Next 10. The survey included a random sample of 503 registered voters in California and was completed March 9-15, 2010 in English and Spanish. Results have a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

A complete copy of the questions asked and detailed tabulations of the survey results both statewide and across major subgroups of the California registered voter population can be found at