There has been a lot of talk lately about rising energy prices, the supposed energy transition, and the federal government mandating electric vehicles.
We at MWR Strategies, in tandem with the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, wondered whether any of that was affecting how voters thought about energy, energy prices, and federal mandates. [bold, links added]
So, we conducted a nationwide survey of 1,000 likely voters in the last week of February (3.1% margin of error).
Here’s what we learned.
Despite what you might have read or heard, Republicans continue to be on solid ground on the imperative of consumer choice, on rejecting carbon dioxide taxes, on willingness to pay for “solutions” to global warming, and even on the fundamentals of the science — respondents identify carbon dioxide as “needed for plant life” more than as a “pollutant” by 24 percentage points.
We learned, again, that voters don’t trust the government very much. More than two-thirds said they do not trust the federal government to decide what kind of cars should be subsidized or mandated.
A slightly greater percentage say they themselves should make decisions about what kinds of cars and fuels they buy (rather than the state or federal government).
We also learned that these sentiments are durable; they are consistent with what we previously found.
For example, we asked whether a federal electric vehicle mandate would cause electricity prices to increase or decrease; last year, 69% said it would cause them to increase. This year, 74% said it would cause an increase.
We asked about China’s domination of the electric vehicle supply chain. Last year, 43% were very concerned; this year, 56% are very concerned.
Last year, a carbon tax was opposed by a margin of 34 points (62-38); this year, it is opposed by a margin of 40 points (63-23).
More generally, we asked whether the federal government should raise energy taxes in response to climate change. Last year, respondents opposed it by a margin of 38 points; this year, they opposed it by a margin of 55 points.
Last year, a ban on gasoline-powered vehicles was opposed by a margin of 66 points. This year, the net opposition had shrunk to a mere 63 points.
In short, there has been some hardening of sentiments on this issue, mostly if not entirely against Team Biden’s agenda.
There continues to be a limited appetite to pay to address climate change. When asked what they would be willing to pay each year to address climate change, the median response of likely voters is $55 annually.
About a quarter offered “zero,” and in total more than a third said less than $10. Consistent with that sentiment, voters don’t want the government to make energy more expensive (by a margin of 68 points).
Voters flat out reject electric vehicle mandates. More than two-thirds (68%) say we don’t need government policies that force consumers to buy them.
Voters are also not enthusiastic about the subsidies (hidden and otherwise) embedded in the federal corporate fuel economy program.
As a practical matter, that program requires those who purchase trucks, SUVs, and crossovers to subsidize (the subsidies are measured in thousands of dollars) those who purchase smaller cars and electric vehicles.
Almost half said that was unfair. When asked to identify a fair amount for this subsidization, the median response was $2.
It is not just us. Our friends at Echelon Insights recently published survey results indicating that most voters (62-28) think that the right response to rising energy prices is to increase oil and gas production rather than accelerate a transition to alternative energy sources.
An even larger percentage prefers more American production to rely more on imports.
All of this is bad news for Team Biden and those activists who are counting on immediate and revolutionary change in our energy system.
But it is good news for those who don’t trust the government, who don’t want to pay even more for energy, and who aren’t particularly excited about the kind of revolution that results in less affordable, less reliable energy.
Read more at Washington Times
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