Opposition to "cap-and-trade" grows in U.S.: poll

The skyline of downtown Los Angeles through a layer of smog is seen in the distance from a rooftop in Hollywood, California, May 31, 2006.REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Corrects percentages in third paragraph

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three-quarters of Americans believe the U.S. government should regulate the release of greenhouse gases from cars and factories to reduce global warming, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

But fewer -- 52 percent -- support a cap-and-trade approach to limiting gas emissions similar to the one the U.S. House of Representatives will probably pass this week, according to the poll posted on Thursday on the Post’s website.

The poll shows opposition to cap-and-trade has grown to 42 percent, from 34 percent in July last year. Support for climate legislation has slipped slightly among people asked whether they were willing to pay more for electricity to help reduce greenhouse gases.

Cap-and-trade is a central issue for U.S. President Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership and a centerpiece of the bill that would significantly reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases associated with global warming.

Under cap-and-trade, fewer pollution permits would be available to companies in the next several decades and industries that pollute less than their limit could sell some of their permits to other companies.

Reporting and writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Bill Trott