A new statewide survey of environment issues conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California found more residents favor climate change policy, want to cut greenhouse gas emissions and believe they are already experiencing the effects of global warming.
“This is a clear mandate that people want to move beyond dirty energy,” said David Graham-Caso, Los Angeles Sierra Club spokesman.
The survey, the 11th since 2000, sampled more than 2,500 people and found Californians are strongly supportive of policies that encourage fuel efficiency and renewable energy, according to Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of PPIC.
Most survey takers (67%) support the state’s law reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Across the board, state residents agree that automakers should be required to improve fuel efficiency standards (90% Democrats, 81% independents, and 76% Republicans).
They also overwhelmingly favor (79%) government regulation of the release of greenhouse gases from sources such as power plants, cars and factories to reduce global warming. While 79% favor greenhouse gas regulations, they are split between a cap and trade system (54% in favor) and a carbon tax (60% in favor).
“People see it as a tax to discourage fossil fuel use and to improve state infrastructure,” said Jim Metropulos, senior advocate of the Sierra Club in Sacramento. “The Sierra Club believes something like a carbon tax would make it easier to achieve outcomes that we want quickly.”