Despite the uncertainty involved with future climate predictions, the federal government is now poised to pass a cap-and-trade program that will attempt to reduce human-emitted greenhouse gases. Because a cap-and-trade program is essentially an energy tax, the program would have an enormous effect on Americans by increasing the costs of almost everything that is needed or desired in our daily lives. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans do not have a clue about what a cap-and-trade program actually is and thus are unable to voice their possible concerns.
Last May, a national poll found that only 24% of voters correctly identified a cap-and-trade program as something that deals with environmental issues. Yet even months later, the American public is still in the dark. A new poll, conducted October 1-4, found that 77% of Americans still do not understand cap-and-trade legislation.
This unawareness highlights a serious issue. If a cap-and-trade program is passed, the majority of Americans will be literally left in the dark about one of the largest tax increases in history. Also, without the understanding of the severe economic costs and lack of benefits, elected officials will be able to move forward on cap-and-trade without much pushback from American citizens.