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PUBLIC OPINION POLL SHOWS MAJORITY OF AMERICANS OPPOSE BROAD-BASED BTU ENERGY TAX

 WASHINGTON, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite heavy lobbying by the Clinton administration, the American public remains strongly opposed to a broad-based energy tax as part of the president's deficit reduction plan. A nationwide survey conducted by Cambridge Reports/Research International released today by the American Energy Alliance shows that 57 percent of Americans oppose the tax, with only 36 percent supporting it. Those who "strongly oppose" a broad-based energy tax outnumber those who "strongly support" the tax by a 4-to-1 margin.
 The sample also shows that 88 percent of those surveyed believe that Congress should cut spending before increasing new taxes in order to reduce the deficit. Additionally, 81 percent agree that the federal budget deficit can be significantly reduced by cutting government spending.
 "This poll sends a strong message to President Clinton and the Congress that the Btu tax -- or anything that looks or acts like it -- should be dropped once and for all," said Paul Huard, senior vice president of policy & communications, National Association of Manufacturers. "The message from taxpayers is loud and clear: we will not stand for a tax that destroys jobs, is regionally unfair and asks those least able to pay -- low- and middle-income families -- to shoulder the largest share of the tax burden for deficit reduction."
 The following are highlights of the survey's findings:
 -- 75 percent of those surveyed agree that the tax would fall more heavily on lower and middle-income people;
 -- 71 percent think that the revenues raised by the Btu tax would be used primarily to fund new government spending programs rather than helping reduce the deficit;
 -- 61 percent think that a Btu tax would increase costs to businesses and industries, slowing our economic growth and costing jobs.
 Surveys conducted in states hardest hit by the Btu tax show even stronger opposition to the levy. For example, polls in energy-intensive states and states with large farm economies show the following results:
 -- Louisiana: 68 percent opposed
 -- Oklahoma: 62 percent opposed
 -- Nebraska: 65 percent opposed
 -- Montana: 62 percent opposed
 -- North Dakota: 60 percent opposed
 -- South Dakota: 59 percent opposed
 "The Btu tax was a bad idea from its inception," said Huard. "Now the president and Congress must work towards a fairer deficit reduction measure -- a measure that includes $2 in cuts for every $1 in taxes. In fact, our poll shows that 65 percent of those surveyed agree with this ratio of cuts to spending."
 While the Btu tax was shelved by the Senate, it is still very much alive in the bill passed by the House on May 27. Therefore, it is on the table and very much active in conference committee, where differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill are being worked out. A resolution is expected in the next several weeks.
 The nationwide public opinion survey was conducted June 25-27, 1993, for the American Energy Alliance by Cambridge Reports/Research International. Sample size of the survey was 800 people with a margin of error of plus/minus 3.47 percent.
 -0- 7/1/93
 /CONTACT: Monica Thompson Gliva, 202-637-3093, or Paul Huard, 202-637-3075, both for the American Energy Alliance/


CO: American Energy Alliance ST: District of Columbia IN: OIL SU: LEG EXE

MH-TW -- DC008 -- 7611 07/01/93 10:07 EDT
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Date:Jul 1, 1993
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