68% of Albertans opposed to NDP's climate change strategy, poll suggests
Mainstreet Research survey found most respondents don't believe policy will help get pipelines approved
The NDP's new climate change plan is not going over well with Albertans, according a survey released Monday by Mainstreet-Postmedia.
The poll suggests 68 per cent of Albertans are opposed to the overall strategy, 22 per cent are in favour and 10 per cent are undecided.
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The introduction of a carbon tax was opposed by 66 per cent of respondents.
The strategy includes a tax on carbon, a cap on oilsands emissions, a phasing out of coal-fired electricity and a new emphasis on wind power.
The carbon tax on industry is expected to raise $3 billion a year, to be reinvested in renewable energy sectors and cover increased costs to consumers.
But the strategy will be paid for not only by industry, but by ordinary Albertans.
The province estimates the carbon tax will amount to roughly $470 in increased heating, electricity and transportation costs for an average household in 2018.
"We've consistently found opposition to new taxes in Alberta, even with the current economic climate, so it comes as no surprise that most are against the climate plan — and in particular, the carbon tax," said Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research, in a release.
Support for the climate plan is strongest in Edmonton, where 45 per cent approve and 41 per cent oppose it.
In Calgary, 33 per cent support the plan with 70 per cent against it.
Outside the two major cities only 18 per cent support the plan and 72 per cent oppose it.
"We continue to see strong regional differences in Alberta among this and other issues," Maggi said.
The province has touted its strategy as a way to improve Alberta's environmental reputation and make pipeline projects an easier sell.
But 62 per cent of those surveyed say the climate change strategy will not help pave the way for future pipeline approvals.
Replacing coal power
The survey also asked Albertans about the plan to replace coal power with renewable energy.
Half of the respondents said they were opposed to the plan, 44 said they approve and six per cent were unsure.
Respondents were divided on what the province should do with the revenue collected from the carbon tax, with 43 per cent saying it should be used to reduce the provincial debt and deficit. Another 37 per cent opposed that idea and 20 per cent were unsure.
The automated survey was conducted with more than 3,000 people on both landlines and cell phones.
The poll carries a margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
- Mainstreet Research has since corrected its breakdown of the approval rating for Alberta's climate change plan. One of the major changes includes different percentages of the disapproval rate from Calgary, Edmonton and the remainder of Alberta.Dec 07, 2015 6:05 PM MT