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Trump voters support climate action, carbon tax

Trump voters climate change

According to the latest research, a majority of Trump voters support policies that would curb greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change.

Trump voters support climate action to regulate and/or tax pollution

By Mary Gable

President Trump has repeatedly referred to climate change as a hoax, and has staffed his Cabinet with a team of climate skeptics. But here’s a reality check: his views put him at odds not only with the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists, but also with many of his own supporters.

According to a new report published by Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, fewer than one in three Americans who voted for Donald Trump thinks that climate change is not happening. Nearly half (49 percent) understand that it is.

Interestingly, this survey reveals that climate solutions have even more support. A majority of Trump voters support policies that would curb greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change. For example, almost three in four Trump voters (73 percent) say the U.S. should rely more on renewable energy sources, and 77 percent support generating wind and solar energy on public land.

Most notably for Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the report also reveals that a majority (62 percent) of Trump voters support taxing and/or regulating GHG emissions, with a third of respondents supporting both. In contrast, only 21 percent of voters support neither approach. Even more promising, 52 percent support eliminating all federal subsidies for fossil fuel companies. And 48 percent believe emitters should pay a carbon tax (specifically, one whose revenues would be used to reduce other taxes).

Many members of Congress, particularly in red states, have been reluctant to lead on climate, partly for fear of backlash from their constituents. These findings reveal that they needn’t worry about losing support, so take a moment to share the report with your representatives.

With Republicans in charge in the House, the Senate and the White House, now is their chance to provide conservative climate solutions that their constituents really want.

Mary Gable is a writer and editor who focuses on sustainability and innovation. She's based in Seattle, but takes her work on the road whenever she can.