Two new public opinion polls, one national and one conducted in the state of Michigan, have reaffirmed Americans' broad support for clean, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.
The national survey, from which pertinent results were released last week, was carried out in early September by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. Highlights:
– A large majority of Americans (77%) say global warming should be a “very high” (18%), “high” (25%), or “medium” priority (34%) for the president and Congress. One in four (23%) say it should be a low priority.
– Nearly all Americans (92%) say the President and Congress should make developing sources of clean energy a “very high” (31%), “high” (38%), or “medium” priority (23%). Very few say it should be a low priority (8%).
– Majorities also support funding more research into renewable energy sources (73%), providing tax rebates for people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels (73%), regulating carbon dioxide (CO2) as a pollutant (66%), eliminating all subsidies for the fossil-fuel industry (59%), and expanding offshore drilling for oil and natural gas off the U.S. coast (58%).
– A majority of Americans say they would vote for a candidate who supports a revenue neutral carbon tax if it created more American jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries (61% would support such a candidate), decreased pollution by encouraging companies to find less polluting alternatives (58%), or was used to pay down the national debt (52%).
– Eight in ten (78%) say that in the future, the United States should use renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal much more or somewhat more than we do today
The Michigan survey, conducted November 5-6 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and also released last week, found that nearly three-fourths of Michigan voters (73 percent) want to see expansion of the state’s use of renewable energy. That includes 78 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents and 65 percent of Republicans. Also, by an overwhelming 60 – 24 percent margin, voters believe expanding renewable energy will create jobs and grow the economy.
The Michigan findings lend credence to the view that a proposed constitutional amendment to increase renewable energy use in the state lost at the polls November 6 because it was one of several constitutional amendments–all of which were defeated by similar margins–and voters were concerned about making changes to the constitution.
More information about renewable energy can be found at www.mienergymijobs.com.
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Public Opinion Watch: Marylanders back offshore wind, October 12, 2011
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