“It’s too expensive.” Republicans have uttered this refrain time and again to reject nearly every proposal aimed at addressing climate change. It’s what drove the U.S. rejection of global climate deals in the 1990s and essentially the only context in which the Trump campaign brings up climate change today.
But few Americans are buying it, a new poll shows. Nearly half of Americans think addressing climate change will help the economy while only 29% believe that climate policy will cause harm, according to a new report by researchers at Stanford University, Resources for the Future (RFF) and ReconMR. “It’s just an argument that doesn’t work,” says report author Jon Krosnick, a Stanford social psychologist professor who studies political behavior of the argument that climate policy hurts jobs. “The argument has never convinced even a majority of Republicans.”
The report—shared exclusively with TIME—relies on a survey of 999 American adults between May and August and shows broad U.S. support for a range of climate policies. Significant majorities support tax incentives, carbon pricing and regulations as means to reduce emissions. More than 80% of Americans believe the U.S. should offer tax incentives for utilities that make power with renewable energy; more than 80% support key U.S. commitments under the Paris Agreement; and nearly two-thirds support a requirement for all cars to get at least 55 miles per gallon by 2025. “It’s not like 52-48, or that kind of thing,” says Krosnick. “There are clear leanings.”