Despite widespread skepticism over whether Congress will pass an energy bill, Americans are prepared to endorse the major provisions coming out of the House-Senate conference.
Such was the finding of a recent Harris Survey of 1,200 adults nationwide conducted Dec. 2 and 3.
On the two key provisions, however, opinion was split.
By 55 to 34 per cent, a majority favors "putting a tax on crude oil now produced in the U.S. to bring the price up to the world price . . . with some of the money . . . going to oil companies to explore for new oil, some going to develop mass transportation."
The original House version called for a rebate to the taxpayers. The Senate indicated it wanted the tax to go to industry, to the taxpayers and to mass transit and research.
By 63 to 24 per cent a majority remains opposed to "allowing the price of natural gas to go up to $2.03 per thousand cubic feet . . . a 40 per cent increase, but still controlling how high the price of natural gas should go."
The original House version increased the price to $1.75.
All other major provisions of the likely energy bill, some of which have been viewed as highly controversial, meet with majority approval.
By 51 to 42 per cent, a majority favors "putting a stiff tax on new cars that get 23.5 miles per gallon or less" by 1985.
By 53 to 35, a majority favors "putting taxes on industries which use oil or natural gas to persuade them to convert to the use of coal."
By 55 to 3, a majority favors "speeding up construction of conventional nuclear power plants."
By 71 to 20, a majority favors "requiring state commissions to consider changing electric utility rates so they would encourage the use of electric power during off-hours.
By 67 to 24, a majority favors "giving businesses an extra 10 per cent tax credit if they convert to coal as a fuel."
By 69 to 21, a majority favors "giving homeowners credit up to $2,150 for money spent on installing solar energy equipment."
By 83 to 14, a majority favors "giving people a tax credit of up to $400 for money spent on improving the insulation of the homes."
On the overall legislation, 83 per cent agree with the assessment that "while President Carter's energy program is not a final answer, it is a real beginning at giving this country an energy policy."