How Much for Reduced Emissions?
With concern about global warming on the rise, many Americans now say they are willing to change their ways to help the environment, but how much are they willing to pay in exchange for reduced emissions?
A Washington Post-ABC News-Stanford University poll conducted in April found that 50 percent of Americans were "very willing" to change some of the things they do in order to help improve the environment. What's more, 80 percent were at least "somewhat" willing to make changes even if it meant some personal inconvenience. Nearly a third said they had already made an effort to reduce energy consumption in their home.
Researchers from Stanford University, the think tank Resources for the Future and New Scientist magazine teamed up to delve further into the impact of cost on Americans' willingness to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Their survey, conducted online by Knowledge Networks, studied six policy options, three relating to vehicle fuel and three relating to electricity, at three price points each. Each of the policies would cut greenhouse gas emissions five percent by 2020.
According to the poll, Americans are more willing to accept an increase in their electricity bills in exchange for decreased emissions than they are to accept even higher prices at the pump.
Half said they would vote in favor of a policy that forces electricity producers to change their production methods to reduce emissions, but which raises the average monthly electricity bill by more than 80 percent. However, only 27 percent would favor a similar policy for fuel companies.
More information about the Washington Post-ABC News-Stanford University poll, including the full questionnaire, can be found here.
More information about the Stanford University-Resources for the Future-New Scientist poll can be found here.
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