New Poll on US Voters Thinking on Energy

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A poll commissioned by the Center for American Progress on US citizen’s thought about energy has been released. The key findings are:

  • Promoting the development of renewable energy sources is a leading item
    on the public’s energy agenda, and five in nine voters want the federal
    government to do more than it currently is to promote sources such as wind
    and solar power.
  • While voters support increased reliance on natural gas in the coming years, by a two-to-one margin they put a higher priority on protecting public lands
    and natural places from overdevelopment than on opportunities for oil and
    natural gas drilling on public lands.
  • Two frames for setting energy policy have strong resonance with the public:
    • A BALANCED energy policy that addresses energy independence while
      better protecting public health, public lands, and clean drinking water;
      and
    • A CLEAN energy policy that promotes innovation and manufacturing
      jobs while spending the transition to cleaner renewable forms of energy.
      Both of these frames have stronger appeal than an “ALL OF THE ABOVE”
      energy frame
  • In addition to renewable energy, large majorities support other progressive policy initiatives, including:
    • Strengthening protections against pollution of drinking water and clean
      air; and
    • Permanently protecting special public lands for future generations.
  • Conversely, majorities strongly oppose key initiatives that the new
    leadership in Congress is expected to push that would weaken protection for drinking water and clean air, sell off some national forests or other public
    lands, and allow drilling on highly valued recreation lands.
  • Americans strongly oppose lifting the restrictions on oil exports, both on an unaided basis and after hearing point-counterpoint arguments on the topic.
  • Focusing on ties to Big Oil and the Congress’s continued support for
    taxpayer subsidies of fossil fuel industries is a compelling frame against an
    anti-environment, fossil fuels agenda in Congress.

Voters want the federal government to do more to promote both energy independence and renewable energy (keep in mind that for the most part, renewable energy leads to more independence):

Energy. Greg Laden's Blog

But when it comes to developing domestic Carbon-based sources vs. clean energy, Democrats prefer clean energy, Republicans prefer dirty energy.

Clean vs. dirty energy. Greg Laden's blog

Voter prefer President Obama’s proposals over those of Congress, once they hear the details.

Policy preference. Greg Laden's Blog.

And, there is a trust issue.

Whom do voters trust? Greg Laden's Blog.

There is a lot more in the poll, the PDF is here.

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2 thoughts on “New Poll on US Voters Thinking on Energy

  1. Hi Greg. Aren’t these poll results a bit of a ahoulder shrug? Wouldn’t you expect most people to say they are pro clean air, water, and energy? Who is for dirty water? But when you funnel down to actions and regulations and five buck a gallon gasoline I have to wonder how those kinds if poll results would compare to more philosophical questions.

    1. That is always an issue. Of course, “external” costs generally come home to roost. The mortgage crisis hit everyone badly. Imagine if it could be shown that using fossil carbon-based fuel would cause another mortgage crisis every few years. That would allow us to factor in the cost, and those alleged (and not proven) higher gas prices would then seem more reasonable.

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