Americans Are Willing to Pay $177 Annually for Carbon Tax, Survey Finds

A new survey of more than 1,200 American adults found that households were willing to pay an average $177 per year on a “tax on fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) to help reduce global warming.” This equals a 14.4 percent increase in energy cost compared to current electricity rates in each state. 

The tax would generate $22.3 billion for climate action annually, the survey found. The research was conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and published recently in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Survey participants said they would want this tax money to go toward developing clean energy (80 percent of those surveyed), improving infrastructure (77 percent), assisting displaced coal workers (70 percent), and paying down the national debt (66 percent). Some 55 percent of survey participants also supported the money being used to help vulnerable low-income communities adapt to climate change.