Poll: Majority of Vermonters Oppose TCI Tax/GWSA Lawsuits

According to a poll of 600 Vermonters, majorities oppose key components of environmental legislation, the recently passed Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), and the pending Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI).

While a plurality shows tepid support for TCI as a concept (48% Strongly or Somewhat Support Vermont joining TCI compared to 39% who Strongly or Somewhat Oppose it), majorities oppose the key details that make up the policy’s substance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For example, asked, “If joining TCI meant paying an additional tax or fee on gasoline and diesel vehicle fuels of up to 17 cents per gallon in the first year, and increasing annually, would you support or oppose Vermont joining TCI?” support dropped to 38% while opposition rose to 54%, with 42% strongly opposed.

However, Vermonters’ most serious reservations about TCI have to do with the program’s expected lack of effectiveness. The TCI report admits that if no additional action is taken, regional greenhouse gas emissions are expected to decrease by 19% over the next decade. If TCI were implemented at a cost to drivers of 5 cents or 17 cents per gallon of motor fuel, that number would improve only by 1% to 6% respectively. Presented with this cost/benefit ratio, 61% of Vermonters opposed joining TCI, 45% strongly so.

Vermonters had similar reactions to the Global Warming Solutions Act with 41% expressing support for Governor Scott’s veto of the bill and 35% opposing his veto while fully one quarter of the population had no opinion.

However, asked, “The Global Warming Solutions Act allows ‘any person’ to sue the state of Vermont if specific greenhouse gas emission reduction goals are not met, which could cost Vermont taxpayers multiple millions of dollars in legal fees. Do you support or oppose the lawsuit provision in the Global Warming Solutions Act?” 69% of respondents opposed the provision, 52% strongly so while less than 10% strongly supported it.

Rob Roper, president of the Ethan Allen Institute which commissioned the poll, said, “These results aren’t a surprise. Vermonters care about the climate, but don’t want to waste money on programs that are expensive and intrusive but will have little to no substantive impact on the problem they are supposedly intended to help solve.”

The poll of 600 Vermonters was conducted by Advantage Inc. by in person telephone call over October 17-18, 2020, and has a +/- 4 margin of error.

Complete Poll

    17-Oct 18-Oct   Total Percentage
             
Q1 Do you support or oppose Vermont joining TCI?          
1 Strongly Support 123 38   161 26.83%
2 Somewhat Support 97 27   124 20.67%
3 No opinion 49 35   84 14.00%
4 Somewhat Oppose 46 8   54 9.00%
4 Strongly Oppose 126 51   177 29.50%
  Total 441 159   600 100.00%
             
Q2 If joining TCI meant paying an additional tax or fee on gasoline and diesel vehicle fuels of up to 17 cents per gallon in the first year, and increasing annually, would you support or oppose Vermont joining TCI? 
1 Strongly Support 87 30   117 19.50%
2 Somewhat Support 85 23   108 18.00%
3 No opinion 33 20   53 8.83%
4 Somewhat Oppose 55 15   70 11.67%
4 Strongly Oppose 181 71   252 42.00%
  Total 441 159   600 100.00%
             
Q3 If joining TCI meant reducing Vermont’s tax capacity to fund road and bridge repair and maintenance would you be more would you support or oppose Vermont joining TCI? 
1 Strongly Support 82 24   106 17.67%
2 Somewhat Support 79 27   106 17.67%
3 No opinion 61 24   85 14.17%
4 Somewhat Oppose 81 28   109 18.17%
4 Strongly Oppose 138 56   194 32.33%
  Total 441 159   600 100.00%
             
Q4 Do you support TCI knowing it will only reduce emissions by 1% to 6%?  
1 Strongly Support 66 18   84 14.00%
2 Somewhat Support 54 22   76 12.67%
3 No opinion 54 23   77 12.83%
4 Somewhat Oppose 70 26   96 16.00%
4 Strongly Oppose 197 70   267 44.50%
  Total 441 159   600 100.00%
             
Q5 Governor Phil Scott recently vetoed the Global Warming Solutions Act. Did you support or oppose the governor’s veto? 
1 Strongly Support 125 50   175 29.17%
2 Somewhat Support 52 18   70 11.67%
3 No opinion 110 32   142 23.67%
4 Somewhat Oppose 63 22   85 14.17%
4 Strongly Oppose 91 37   128 21.33%
  Total 441 159   600 100.00%
             
Q6 Governor Scott says the Global Warming Solutions Act is unconstitutional because... Do you agree or disagree with this assessment? 
1 Strongly Agree 158 57   215 35.83%
2 Somewhat Agree 61 29   90 15.00%
3 No opinion 110 37   147 24.50%
4 Somewhat disagree 57 16   73 12.17%
4 Strongly disagree 55 20   75 12.50%
  Total 441 159   600 100.00%
             
Q7 Do you support or oppose the lawsuit provision in the Global Warming Solutions Act? 
1 Strongly Support 41 15   56 9.33%
2 Somewhat Support 37 10   47 7.83%
3 No opinion 58 25   83 13.83%
4 Somewhat Oppose 76 25   101 16.83%
4 Strongly Oppose 229 84   313 52.17%
  Total 441 159   600 100.00%

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  • Doug & Patricia Richmond
    commented 2020-10-23 18:45:29 -0400
    Answers all over the place depending on the question. Some support wins,
    but when there are consequences, the answer is 5 to 1 NO WAY !!

    A real reason to mistrust “telephone surveys”
  • Doug & Patricia Richmond
    followed this page 2020-10-23 18:45:27 -0400
  • James Mogan
    followed this page 2020-10-23 18:05:44 -0400
  • Rob Roper
    published this page in EAI Blog 2020-10-22 16:41:51 -0400