Quick polling note:
A new Zogby poll released last Tuesday revealed that 71 percent of likely voters support the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES—a.k.a. Waxman-Markey) passed by the US House of Representatives at the end of June.A majority of those polled also said they want the Senate to take similar action.The poll also asked people about how “efforts to reduce global warming and promote energy” will impact American jobs, and 51 percent of respondents said they believed these efforts would lead to new job creation.
Of course, as the Keith Johnson at the Wall Street Journal points out, “when it comes to surveys on things like global warming, clean energy and the like, a lot depends on how the questions are phrased.” To keep things as clear as possible, Zogby asked potential voters to self-identify into one of two broad camps ahead of Senate action on the energy bill, explicitly echoing the language (and claims) of proponents and opponents:
The first camp—“I think the Senate should take action because I believe we need a new energy plan right now that invests in American, renewable energy sources like wind and solar, in order to create clean energy jobs, address global warming and reduce our dependency on foreign oil”—mustered 54 percent support.
The second camp—“I think the Senate should wait on this proposal, I believe the House energy bill is a hidden tax that will cost thousands of dollars every year in increased energy prices, weaken our economy further, and cause America to lose jobs to China and other countries”—got 41 percent support.
The idea that the energy and climate bill is actually an engine of job creation is gaining traction with the public too. Some 51 percent of respondents figure it will create jobs, while only 29 percent figure it will cost jobs, and 17 percent think legislation would have no impact.
Finally, the energy and climate vote may not be the political hot-potato some would have us believe when it comes to next year’s mid-term elections. Only 29 percent of respondents said they would have an “unfavorable” view of their representative for having voted for the bill; while 47 percent would have a “favorable” view.