Fuel Costs Boost Conservation Efforts; 7 in 10 Reducing “Carbon Footprint”


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This poll, conducted by ABC News/Planet Green/Stanford University from June 23 – 28 of 2008, was produced in consultation with Professor Jon Krosnick and The Woods Institute for the Environment. The survey included 1000 respondents and the margin of error was 3 points. The survey chronicled the opinions of Americans on issues involving the energy and the environment.Results

  • Americans were found to support certain regulations while being against others in the realm of Energy policy. A majority of Americans support raising fuel efficiency standard, raising taxes on oil profits, and restricting oil speculation by traders. At the same time, they support efforts to increase drilling such as offshore drilling and drilling in protected wildlife areas.


  • A majority of Americans support a cap and trade system with two thirds saying that the United States should act on global warming even if other countries do less.
  • Large majorities of Americans think that global warming is happening, that it will affect their children, and that humans are probably causing it.


  • The survey showed that 61% of people thought that the government should do more while only 10% thought that the government should do less about Global Warming. However, the amount that believes that the Government should do more has slightly decreased in the past few years while the amount that thinks the Government should do less has increased slightly in the last few years. The amount that thought that the Government is doing the right amount has stayed about the same.


  • When asked if they are reducing their carbon footprint, 71 percent of respondents answered in the affirmative. When further prompted to give a reason for this, a plurality are saying that they are doing this for both environmental and economic reasons. In fact, more people are doing this to improve the environment than to save money.


  • 59 percent of people supported a Cap and Trade Policy when it came to Greenhouse Gases. However, this result suffered some price sensibility as people were slightly less likely to support it if it would raise their bills by 10 dollars and even less likely to support it if it were to raise their bill by 25 dollars. However, if they were told that a similar program had worked to curb acid rain, then they were very likely to support Cap and Trade for Greenhouse gases.



Overall, many of these responses about climate change and energy show that there is much knowledge among the American public about climate change, and many people would like to see the government do more about it. Furthermore, many people are reducing their carbon footprint on a personal level. While these are some of the principal findings of this survey, there are many more questions about energy and environmental policy included in the full survey.