Gallup: Americans Overwhelmingly Favor Clean Over Dirty Energy; Efficiency Over Production; Environmental Protection

Posted By Lowell F. on April 2nd, 2014

The fossil fuel industry can (and does) spend millions of dollars trying to persuade people that their product’s great, that renewable energy isn’t, and that climate change isn’t real. Unfortunately for the fossil fuel folks, it looks like the American people are a lot smarter than ExxonMobil, the Koch brothers, etc. think they are.

Evidence? How about this newly-released polling by Gallup, which finds the following.

  • “57% of Americans say the U.S. should emphasize conservation in its approach to solve the nation’s energy problems, up from 51% in 2013 and 48% in 2011.”
  • In contrast, only “one-third in the U.S. now favor greater emphasis on energy production as the solution.”
  • “64% of Americans prefer an emphasis on the development of alternative energy production, such as wind and solar power, to an emphasis on production of traditional fossil fuels. That is up from 59% in 2013.”
  • Among younger people (ages 18-34), the preference for clean over dirty energy is overwhelming, with 80% preferring clean energy vs. 20% opting for the dirty stuff. That’s the future, and it’s not looking good for the fossil fuel folks.
  • By a nearly 2:1 margin, Americans support “setting higher emissions and pollution standards for business and industry” and “more strongly enforcing federal environmental regulation.”
  • By a 63%-35% margin, Americans favor “imposing mandatory controls on carbon dioxide emissions/other greenhouse gases.”
  • By a 58%-37% margin, Americans favor “setting stricter standards on the use of techniques to extract natural gas from the earth, including ‘fracking’.”

In sum, it appears that the fossil fuel industry is losing its battle for American public opinion. That’s the good news. The bad news, at least so far, is that the strong preference of the American people for clean energy over dirty energy has not resulted in corresponding policy action by Congress. Perhaps the fact that the fossil fuel industry spends huge amounts of money to keep Congress from acting has something to do with that?

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