The new Public Policy Institute of California poll on the environment shows that Californians continue to be strong for environmental protections, but standing up for the environment weakens when a price tag is attached.
While the poll covered a number of environmental issues, when pollsters asked follow-up questions involving possible cost increases for transportation fuels under the cap-and-trade proposal and for electricity under the renewable energy law attitudes changed dramatically.
Yet, on some other energy related issues such as fracking or carbon tax no follow-up questions on costs were asked.
Queried if oil companies should be required to produce transportation fuels with lower emissions, 76% of adults agreed. But when followed with the question: “Do you still favor this state law if it means an increase in gasoline prices at the pump?” support dropped to 39%. The drop off was particularly notable among those making less than $40,000 a year. While 77% supported reducing fuel emissions, the number fell to 32% when they learned they might have to pay more.