Public Support for Cap and Trade Depends on How Funds Are Used
Public support for carbon cap and trade programs depends on how the revenue they generate is used, the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy reports in the latest edition of its National Surveys on Energy and Environment.
“Public support for a state cap-and-trade program is strongly correlated with belief in global warming,” reports a research team led by postdoctoral fellow Sarah B. Mills.
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“When provided with five different variations on how revenues from a cap-and-trade program might be used, three options garner higher public support than the others: using revenues to expand energy efficiency programs, to expand the use of renewable energy, or to reduce other taxes. In contrast, more Americans would oppose cap-and-trade in their state if revenues were used to support highway and bridge improvements, or if all revenue were placed into a state trust fund.”
The public response to different program options “closely parallel the design of existing cap-and-trade programs, perhaps most notably the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and its emphasis on energy efficiency programs in allocating cap-and-trade revenue,” the researchers note.
“Some funding from RGGI has also been allocated to renewable energy programs, while British Columbia’s carbon tax operates in a revenue-neutral manner by reducing other taxes. The less popular proposed revenue uses, in turn, are less commonly linked to real-world cap-and-trade programs or carbon taxes.”