April 27, 2007: Source – CBS News

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Americans in large number say that global warming is producing serious effects, according to a New York Times/CBS News nationwide poll of 1,052 adults. But when it comes to specific steps to address the problem, nearly half of those polled said they did not believe that Americans would be willing to change their driving habits to save gasoline or reduce production of climate changing gases.

The poll included questions about higher gas prices and gas taxes as a means to reduce consumption. Respondents were supportive of higher gas prices to reduce dependence on foreign oil, but opposed higher prices to fight global warming. 76 percent of respondents said they would oppose a gas tax if it increased the cost of gasoline by $2.00 per gallon.

According to the New York Times report:

The negative view of new gasoline taxes may reflect the wide expectation that pump prices will continue to increase regardless of government action. More than 80 percent foresee higher prices in coming months, with many citing the Iraq war as a primary cause. Most respondents said they did not expect that any withdrawal of American troops from Iraq would cause prices to fall.

The poll follows recent reports from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that U.S. demand for gasoline continues to break records. In the last week of March 2007, demand for gas was 9.363 million barrels per day, an all-time record for the month of March. During the first week of April, demand reached 9.472 million barrels per day, an all-time high for April. The EIA’s “This Week in Petroleum” suggests that average prices in the neighborhood of $3 per gallon “might lead to adjustments” in driving habits. The national average price of gasoline for the week ending April 23 was $2.87.

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