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Mass. voters would pay more money to reduce emissions: Poll

More than half of Massachusetts voters would pay more on their energy bill if it reduced greenhouse gases.
Factory emissions
A report concluded that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. Photo: Pixabay

Three quarters of Massachusetts voters say they would favor spending an extra $10 per month on energy bills if it led to significant reductions in greenhouse gases, according to a WBUR poll publicized Wednesday. Less than two years ago, 58 percent of Bay State voters said they would like to pay that price to significantly reduce emissions.

Two thirds of respondents to the latest survey conducted by MassINC Polling Group believe human-generated pollution is the main driver of global warming and another 16 percent believe pollution and natural changes in the environment are about equally to blame.

The June survey of 504 registered voters found 67 percent of the respondents believe the effects of climate change have already begun, up from 54 percent who shared that sentiment in 2011. The June poll had a 4.4 percent margin of error.

Democratic lawmakers this session are again pushing legislation (S 1821, H 1726) to institute "carbon pricing," adding another fee onto heating fuels and gasoline and then redistributing the proceeds collected in the form of rebates. State officials are also taking steps to eventually draw electrical power from offshore wind turbines and import clean power from out-of-state.

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Bay State voters in 2014 voted 53-47 to repeal a law that would have automatically increased the gas tax as inflation rises.

In general the poll tracked increasing concern about climate change in recent years.

A 2015 survey, taken soon after the attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, found 58 percent of voters believed terrorism was the greatest long-term threat to the United States compared to 24 percent, who believed global warming was the nation's biggest long-term threat. In the latest poll, 48 percent believe terrorism is the greatest long-term threat compared to 40 percent counting global warming as the greatest long-term threat.

The June poll was taken weeks after President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the international climate change accord known as the Paris Agreement, and 23 percent of respondents said they believe that was the right decision.

 
 
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