The stumbling block in Congress for confronting climate change has perpetually been the economic challenge. There has been little support for paying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
But now, there is some evidence of a quiet undercurrent of support for a carbon policy, whether it be a tax, cap-and-trade or regulations.
The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) — which, in full disclosure, I direct — and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released a poll Wednesday on how Americans feel about various issues related to climate and energy.
One of the questions looked at willingness to pay for a carbon policy. The results, on the surface, are not very encouraging to any of its advocates: 43 percent of Americans aren’t willing to pay anything to fund such a policy.
Most people would infer from this that putting a price on carbon is challenging. And, politically, it is. But buried in the polling data is a striking revelation: Many people are willing to pay real money for a carbon policy. In fact, on average, Americans appear willing to pay more than a robust climate policy is projected to cost…