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Bay Area Drivers Would Support Global Warming Gas Tax

<p>A surprising poll shows that Bay Area residents -- who already pay the nation's highest gas prices -- would agree to a 25-cent gas tax if revenue were applied to reduce global warming. Efforts are underway to put that support to a vote.</p>
November 8, 2007, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Would Bay Area residents, already saddled with the highest gas prices in the country, be willing to pay a 25-cent fee on a gallon of gas if the money were spent to reduce the effects of global warming? According to a new poll, the answer is an unresounding "yes."

"Preliminary findings indicate that Bay Area residents were "mostly willing to pay 25 cents more" (but opposed 50 cents) for a gallon of gas "if it would be used to limit or reduce global warming," according to a recent telephone poll commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The residents also indicated they would want the additional revenue from such an increase to go toward providing more transit services and research into alternative fuels and cleaner engines, according to the memo".

"This poll question goes into a whole new territory in asking about climate change," said MTC spokesman John Goodwin, indicating that "the poll's purpose was to "gauge public attitudes" as the agency moves forward with its next 25-year regional transportation plan."

"According to reports, the most recent survey of gas prices across the country - released Nov. 4 - indicated San Francisco had the most expensive gas in the U.S. at $3.28 per gallon."


From Oakland Tribune:

"Both MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments last week challenged area leaders to support an aggressive system to curb greenhouse gas emissions that included congestion fees and parking surcharges for driving in urban areas during peak hours to raise money and prod commuters toward public transit.

By far the most controversial proposal was a "carbon tax" on gasoline to both help area roadways' cash-starved maintenance programs and cut back on the number of miles traveled by area motorists." [See Planetizen related link].

"MTC staff is recommending, in a draft legislative program to be presented to the panel's Legislative Committee Friday, (Nov. 9) that commissioners seek state legislation "to amend our existing authority to levy a road user fee" on gasoline, requiring only a bare majority at the ballot box."


From BBC:

While an international poll shows that people are ready to change their lifestyles to reduce global warming, "opinion was split over tax rises on oil and coal - 44% against, 50% in favour...However, when people opposed to energy taxes were asked whether their opinion would change if the revenue from the taxes were used to increase energy efficiency or develop cleaner fuel, large majorities in every country were in favour of higher taxes."

Thanks to Bob Maginnis

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 in San Francisco Examiner
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