Yale Poll on Climate and Energy

Yale Poll

Yale University and George Mason University have published the results of their Public Support for Climate and Energy Policies poll. Following are a few of the questions (and their results) that relate to our ongoing conversations here:

“How much do you support or oppose constructing bike paths and installing bike lanes on city streets?”

  • Strongly support – 30%
  • Somewhat support – 47%
  • Somewhat oppose – 14%
  • Strongly oppose – 9%

“How much do you support or oppose increasing the availability of public transportation in your county?”

  • Strongly support – 29%
  • Somewhat support – 51%
  • Somewhat oppose – 13%
  • Strongly oppose – 8%

“How much do you support or oppose a 10-cent fee added to each gallon of gasoline you buy, to fund local programs to improve public transportation?”

  • Strongly support – 7%
  • Somewhat support – 20%
  • Somewhat oppose – 27%
  • Strongly oppose – 46%

“How much do you support or oppose increasing taxes on gasoline by 25 cents per gallon and returning the revenues to taxpayers by reducing the federal income tax?”

  • Strongly support – 9%
  • Somewhat support – 24%
  • Somewhat oppose – 27%
  • Strongly oppose – 40%

“How much do you support or oppose changing your county‚Äôs zoning rules to decrease
suburban sprawl and concentrate new development near the center of cities and towns,
reducing commuting times?”

  • Strongly support – 15%
  • Somewhat support – 41%
  • Somewhat oppose – 27%
  • Strongly oppose – 17%

View the poll [PDF] →

7 Responses to “Yale Poll on Climate and Energy”

  • Dolan Halbrook says:

    In other words, we (as a country) want something for nothing. No surprise here.

  • JaimeRoberto says:

    Whenever I see polls like this I’m reminded of the article in The Onion, “Report: 98 Percent Of U.S. Commuters Favor Public Transportation For Others”. I think for most people the idea of public transit sounds good as long as they don’t have to pay for it or ride it.

  • John says:

    I think that an increase in the gas tax suffers from a branding problem. It seems to me that an increase in the gas tax to pay for roads, with a matching shift in the general fund contributions from roads to public transit might be a more politically viable way to make cars pay their share.

  • Garth says:

    @Jaimie – The public does not realize the scale of what they have to pay to drive, and how much cheaper it would be for them if they had access to more transportation choices. Of course, it is partly in how you phrase the question. If you asked if they would agree with a .15 cent gas tax increase, if they knew it would save them a grand or two a year overall in transportation costs, more might support it.

    @John – The trick is to get the elected officials to shift the necessary tiny fraction of road building funds to bike infrastructure and public transit. That is hard to do when the businesses and public are all clamoring for projects that will make the problem worse. Injecting a little bit of intelligence and rationality back into a sea of hysterical ignorance is a difficult task.


  • Alan says:


    I agree; anything with the word “tax” in the description is a non-starter.

  • Dolan Halbook says:

    @Alan – The irony of that is that taxes are at historic lows in the US: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11156/1151169-109-0.stm It’s difficult for drivers to see the value in non-car infrastructure because, in general, they don’t feel any pain around it. They don’t understand how privileged they are already. So, in not wanting to pay, they’re just following a natural inclination to avoid funding things that don’t benefit them directly, even though it actually does. This is why I think the most effective argument is often to show how this stuff benefits drivers (reduced traffic, safer and more livable neighborhoods, etc) as well as everyone else.

  • kfg says:

    With strong support of the first and last, those in the middle largely lose their relevance. Make the cities pimp free zones: pedal your own @ss.

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