Poll: Californians Bullish on Green Technologies Despite Recession

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A recent statewide poll shows a majority of California voters support the state's landmark 2006 law that requires reducing greenhouse gas emissions and imposing fees on companies that emit these gases if most of the money collected is returned to state residents.

The breakdown in the poll conducted for Next 10 by Field Research Corp. was 58 percent in favor of the 2006 law and 64 percent approving of the fee on companies.

A large majority--69 percent--agrees that "California can reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and expand jobs and economic prosperity at the same time," with 44 percent agreeing strongly. More voters believe state energy policy encouraging new cleaner energy technologies will add jobs (36 percent) than take jobs away (14 percent)--with 41 percent indicating such policies will have no effect on jobs.

"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 Corp., in a release accompanying the poll results.

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 percent in 2008 and 83 percent in 2007.   

"The financial crisis has hit hard in California, so it is not surprising to see that the current recession is causing somewhat greater uncertainty," explained 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:

  • 41 percent strongly favor imposing a fee on companies that emit greenhouse gases if most of the money collected is rebated back to state residents;

  • 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 percent) or a reduction in the state sales tax (28 percent);

  • Two other alternatives received less support: reducing residential electricity rates (23 percent) and mailing every Californian an equal share of the proceeds annually by check (14 percent).

Findings are based on a telephone survey of 503 California registered voters by Field Research Corporation for Next 10 between March 9-15, in English and Spanish.

Results have a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

More about the polling is available at Next10.org.
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