According to a poll by Public Opinion Strategies, there seems to be strong public support for cap and dividend, at least if the question is framed positively. Here is the question along with some key results:
“Some Democratic and Republican Senators have proposed an overhaul to America’s energy system. The goal is to reduce pollution, make America less dependent on foreign oil, and create jobs. The proposal would make oil and coal companies pay for the pollution they cause. It would encourage the creation of new jobs and new technologies in cleaner energy like wind, solar, and nuclear power. The proposal also aims to protect working families, so it refunds almost all of the money it collects directly to the American people, like a tax refund, and most families end up better off. The proposal would allow the American people to decide how to spend their money on energy, not the government or Wall Street. Do you favor or oppose this proposal?”
Fully 74% favor and only 20% oppose. Intensity of support is high – 45% strongly favorand just 11% strongly oppose. The concept is widely supported across party lines: 71% of Republicans, 69% of Independents, and 85% of Democrats back it. Majorities of all ideological groups also back it – 54% of very conservative voters, 71% of somewhat conservative voters, 81% of moderates, and 87% of liberals.
The polling company’s political clients seem to be Republicans, and their organizational clients seem to be a mix of corporate and nonprofit, so it’s interesting that they did the poll & set up the question so favorably. Obviously, opponents of legislation would push hard to reframe the question less favorably in the public’s mind, but it’s at least encouraging that people are open to the idea.