If you asked someone whether they would be willing to help the environment, more often than not they would give you a resounding yes as their answer. Ask them if they would be willing to pay extra for fuel to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nearly half would say no. That’s the finding of a new study run in the U.S. by the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR).

The study found that 48% of Americans are unwilling to spend even a penny more in fuel taxes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At the other end of the scale, just 18% of those surveyed would be willing to pay 50 cents or more in taxes per gallon to reduce greenhouse emissions – an idea the U.S. government is considering.

These results, however, need to be taken with a grain of salt. The NCPPR is well known for its right-wing, anti-environmentalist bias. The group is even sponsored by oil companies so it’s not surprising that it’s claiming a small tax on fuel to help the environment would be a bad idea. Officials even told respondents of the survey that eliminating every car in the U.S. would only reduce world emissions by a fraction, so it's easy to understand why most would be against the tax on fuel. Among those willing to pay more for gasoline to reduce emissions, 58% were found to be less willing to do so, and 42% much less willing, when informed their sacrifice would produce little positive results.

This is a little hard to swallow given the fact that NCPPR’s vice president David Ridenour also states that one-fifth of all U.S. CO2 emissions comes from light trucks and cars.