Energy

Most Voters Support Temporary Gas Tax Breaks, Boosting Domestic Oil Supplies to Combat Rising Fuel Prices

About half of voters back national emergency declaration for climate change, as gas price proposals would increase use of fossil fuels

A gas pump at an Exxon station in Miami is pictured on Nov. 22, 2021. A Morning Consult/Politico survey found that nearly 3 in 4 registered voters support temporary federal and state gas tax breaks. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

As state and federal officials mull different measures to reduce the price at the pump, a new Morning Consult/Politico survey shows that voters support temporary breaks on gas taxes and measures to boost domestic oil production in order to ease soaring gas prices. 

And while some of these efforts could slow the Biden administration’s climate agenda, the survey indicates that voters aren’t strongly supportive of some measures to bolster U.S. climate change efforts in the near term.

What the numbers say
  • Out of a list of eight potential options to reduce gasoline prices, voters were most likely to support temporary breaks from paying federal taxes on gas (73%) and state fuel taxes (72%). Some Democrats have floated the idea of a federal gas tax holiday, while Georgia and Maryland have both temporarily suspended their states’ gasoline taxes.
  • Nearly 3 in 4 voters (72%) also said they would support a push by the federal government for domestic producers to pump more oil. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has called for U.S. oil producers to increase output, though lawmakers have also accused oil and gas companies of failing to prevent rising fuel prices.
  • While all the proposed measures had more support than opposition from voters overall, a handful were less popular than the rest: Fewer than half of the electorate supports suspending requirements for higher-grade gasoline in the summer (46%), gas blended with ethanol (44%) and certain shipping rules between U.S. ports (43%).
  • Democrats were most likely to back the federal and state gasoline tax holidays, while the most unpopular measure for party members was opening up public lands for oil drilling, with 39% in support and 46% in opposition. The most popular measure among Republicans voters was asking domestic producers to pump more oil, at 81%, while the least favored measure was suspending some shipping requirements, with 46% in support and 26% in opposition.
More on the numbers
  • While government officials have pushed for several of these measures to help consumers with gasoline prices, climate activists caution that increasing fossil fuel production will hinder global efforts to combat climate change. Last week, the Congressional Progressive Caucus urged President Joe Biden to issue an executive order that would declare climate change a national emergency. They also proposed a ban on new fossil fuel leases on federal lands and waters and in environmental justice communities.
  • In the survey, 52% of voters said they support the declaration of climate change as a national emergency, with 37% opposed. Nearly 4 in 5 Democrats supported the proposal, while about 65% of Republicans opposed it.
  • Voters were split on whether they support or oppose a ban on fossil fuel drilling on federal land, with 39% percent backing the proposal and 42% against it. Most Democrats still supported the measure (58%), but nearly two-thirds (65%) of GOP voters opposed it. The question did not ask specifically about a ban on new leases.

 

The latest Morning Consult/Politico survey was conducted March 18-21, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult