In the legislative debates over renewable energy, cap-and-trade requirements and environmental protections the specter of economic woes are offered up as reasons not to fully embrace such efforts but a new Public Policy Institute of California poll shows the public is not buying it. If the poll is taken at face value then environment is king in California. However, the cost factor undercuts some of the support for climate change proposals.

For example, when likely voters were asked by PPIC if California’s efforts to reduce global warming would create or reduce jobs, a resounding 51% said more jobs would come, 19% answered fewer jobs. Democratic voters were major supporters of this notion by a 68% to 7% margin. Meanwhile, Republicans were not as convinced with 25% agreeing that more jobs would be created while 36% disagreed.

More information to voters on the issue could change these results. A California Business Roundtable study makes an effort to define green jobs. The Roundtable says that many green jobs are temporary and that the green sector has not yet created permanent, middle income jobs for a long-term employment. When the Roundtable surveyed the issue of climate change policy projected fuel costs, compliance costs, electricity bills and construction costs associated with the policies, support erodes.

Indeed, a similar message can be found in the PPIC poll. When questioned whether they would support the state’s electricity coming 100% from renewable energy by 2045 as proposed in a legislative bill, the side in favor stood at 67% to 25% opposed. Democrats overwhelming liked the idea 82% to 10% but Republicans showed moderate support with 40% in favor and 53% opposed. It should be noted when all adults were asked the question, Republicans actually supported the idea of 100% renewable energy 47% to 46%.

When likely voters were questioned on whether they would be willing to pay more for electricity if it were generated by renewable sources to help reduce global warming the gap of support closed dramatically. 51% said they were willing to pay more and 45% opposed the idea. The numbers for All Adult Republicans radically changed, too. From 47% to 46% support for renewable energy, all adult Republicans rejected the idea of paying more for electricity to achieve that goal with 21% willing to pay the cost, 76% not willing.

The question of climate change, efforts to curb it and effects on the economy were also part of the survey.

Asked if global warming was a threat to the economy, a combined 78% said it was a very serious or somewhat serious threat while 21% said global warming was not too serious a threat or not serious at all.

The respondents also considered California’s beaches and ocean, a big part of the tourist, fishing and trade economy. A whopping 96% agreed that the condition of the beaches and ocean were very or somewhat important to the state’s economy and quality of life.

Another economic issue was considered: drilling for oil off the coast. In environmentally minded California the notion did not gain great support. 28% favored the idea, 67% were opposed. The partisan differences were stark. Democrats were11% in favor, 85% opposed. Republicans favored drilling 59% to 33%.

The survey asked many questions on the environment and contained some political questions as well. News reports will cover the large leads enjoyed by Gavin Newsom in the governor’s race and Dianne Feinstein in the U.S. Senate contest. But there were also a few interesting or odd items:

Newsom is doing better with conservatives (22%) than Cox is doing with liberals (6%).

Newsom is doing better in Los Angeles (68%) than his home city of San Francisco where he served as mayor (61%).

Despite trailing Newsom by 24% with likely voters, Cox trails Newsom by only 10% with homeowners who tend to vote in higher percentages than renters, who strongly support Newsom 64% to 18%.

Feinstein is outpacing de León with Latino voters 52% to 27%.

You can find the entire survey here.