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.
|Q1||Do you support or oppose Vermont joining TCI?|
|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?|
|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?|
|Q4||Do you support TCI knowing it will only reduce emissions by 1% to 6%?|
|Q5||Governor Phil Scott recently vetoed the Global Warming Solutions Act. Did you support or oppose the governor’s veto?|
|Q6||Governor Scott says the Global Warming Solutions Act is unconstitutional because... Do you agree or disagree with this assessment?|
|Q7||Do you support or oppose the lawsuit provision in the Global Warming Solutions Act?|