July 20, 2009
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New Poll "Foreshadows Massive Consumer Rejection of Cap-and-Tax Plans," Civil Rights Leader Says:
Rapidly growing consumer grassroots movement also "will punish those who push these anti-consumer schemes," Innis warns
North Las Vegas, NV -- A new national poll confirms that a rapidly growing consumer tide is building against cap-and-tax plans that will raise electricity bills, according to civil rights champion Roy Innis, who says the poll "foreshadows a huge defeat for cap-and-tax activists and their supporters in the U.S. Senate."
The national poll, conducted by Lauer Johnson Research (LJR) on behalf of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, found nearly six in 10 Americans oppose paying any more than they currently pay in their electricity bills to combat climate change. It also found that an overwhelming 78 percent of all respondents say that a $50 increase monthly in utility bills "would be a hardship."
"Poll after poll now shows the same thing that we hear in our national grassroots campaign against cap-and-tax," Innis said. "Consumers are rising up in strong opposition to cap-and-tax schemes that will raise their rates. They can't afford even small increases in their energy bills. And they don't believe politicians' promises that cap-and-tax is a free lunch."
Innis added "It's also becoming crystal clear that consumers and voters are going to be angry enough punish those who get behind these anti-consumer tax plans. In fact, I predict that consumer anger isn't going to be focused only on the sound-bite politicians. I think consumer anger is going to expand to include those private sector interests that sought to line their own pockets through the cap-and-tax feeding frenzy in Washington, D.C."
Innis urged leaders in the U.S. Senate and in the business community to "get back to the drawing board and come up with legislation that focuses on rapidly advancing emissions technologies, not legislation that seeks to punish consumers for using American energy."
The national poll, conducted by Lauer Johnson Research (LJR) on behalf of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, had a sample size of 807 and a +/- 3.5% sampling error rate. It found:
58 percent of Americans opposed to pay any more than they currently pay in their electricity bills to combat climate change, a 23% increase in those unwilling to pay more since 2007.
One-half (50%) of the country opposes enacting a carbon tax to fund energy research, which represents a 49-point shift (22% drop in agree; 27% increase in disagree) away from supporting a carbon tax for energy research in 2007.
Interest in protecting the environment and fighting climate change has dropped from a low priority (8%) in 2007 to receiving virtually no attention (3%) in 2009.
Fifty-five percent of all respondents, and 69% of working/lower class families, say a $20 increase in their monthly electric bill would cause financial difficulty for their household.
68% disagree with the idea that Congress should enact a carbon tax to encourage consumers to cut back on their electricity usage.
Not one respondent indicated a willingness to pay over 20% more on their monthly electricity bill to combat climate change, according to the survey. "Working/lower class and age 65+ respondents are the least willing to pay more, but substantial percentages of all classes and age cohorts indicate they do not want to see their electric bills increase by even one dollar for the purposes of combating climate change," the survey summary memo noted.
Both this survey and a recent Gallup Poll have found that for the first time in Gallup’s 25 year history of asking Americans about the trade-off between environmental protection and economic growth, a majority of Americans say economic growth should be given the priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent.
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Contact: Niger Innis, National Spokesman, (702) 463-0768