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chart on priorities of Democrats and Republicans
Note that chart does not begin at zero.
(AP-NORC Center Center for Public Affairs Research)
Partisan identification is a stronger marker than gender, race, age, education, income or geography in Americans' attitudes about U.S. energy needs and policies. In fact, a chasm separates the views of Republicans and Democrats, according to a survey by the Associated Press NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

A key reason for this can be found in a survey finding shown in the chart above. Asked how important seven broad issues ranging from the economy to the federal budget deficit are, partisan differences go from small to large. But the gap is greatest when it comes to the environment. Eighty-one percent of Democrats said protecting the environment is personally important to them; only 52 percent of Republicans did.

That plays out in many of their responses to energy questions in the survey:

• 79 percent of Democrats think the government should be extremely or very involved in finding energy solutions; 42 percent of Republicans agree.

• 34 percent of Democrats cite government limits on oil and gas drilling as a major reason for the nation's energy problems and 75 percent of Republicans do; 47 percent of Democrats favor policies encouraging more drilling; 78 percent of Republicans do.

• 75 percent of Democrats report that a major reason for the nation’s energy problems is that industry does not invest enough to support clean energy sources like wind and solar; only 43 percent of Republicans agree.

• 67 percent of Democrats favor government incentives for energy companies to develop alternative energy sources; 43 percent of Republicans favor these.

• 81 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans favor government-funded programs to teach consumers to make choices that will save energy.

• 76 percent of Democrats and 42 percent of Republicans favor financial incentives for consumers to help them buy energy-saving products.

• 55 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of Republicans favor regulations limiting how much energy things like cars and appliances can use.

• 85 percent of all respondents say it is a serious problem that the United States needs to buy energy from other countries. But 65 percent of Republicans say the main reason is that U.S. does not produce enough domestic energy to meet demand; 51 percent of Democrats say the main reason is that people use (and waste) too much energy.

Although Americans in both parties have strong opinions about energy and energy use, with nearly 90 percent saying they have tried to do something in the past year to conserve energy, fewer than 20 percent are aware of local, state and federal programs that provide tax credits for home renovation for conserving energy and installation of alternative energy sources, rebates for buying energy-saving technologies, home energy audits, hybrid car tax credits or LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which rates buildings, including residences, for energy efficiency, among other things).

Despite their lack of knowledge about these programs, nearly half of those surveyed say they use somewhat or a lot less energy than others in their community. Only nine percent think their consumption is above average.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 10:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by I Vote for Democrats and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Dumb chart fooled me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, ColoTim, Larsstephens

    And then I was glad that 52% of republicans think the environment mattered since it looks like 2%.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 10:52:05 AM PDT

    •  The chart doesn't support the heading, nor does (2+ / 0-)

      it support some of the statements in the diary.  Unless Energy means the same thing as the Environment, but I'll bet Energy to a Republican means very different things than it means to a Democrat.  To me, it means electrical power (supplied by coal, nuclear, natural gas, solar, wind and dams) plus oil used for transportation and heating, plus other things.  To a Republican, it might mean the same broad swath of things, but they might not think of it beyond "drill baby drill".

      The Environment, to me, means the whole range of environment of the planet.  Air, water, soil, food, cities, fields, farmland, suburbia, highways, etc, etc.  Republicans might only consider the environment when they're looking to either gather resources or dispose of waste, not realizing that the environment is all around them.

      There is a lot of confusing language in this diary, when trying to match the chart.  Sorry, MB.

      •  That's true (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens, ColoTim

        The survey is too vague to mean much.

        Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

        by yet another liberal on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 01:16:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think the survey has some gaps... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens, ColoTim

        ...But I also think that, taken in context, people who set a much lower priority on environmental protection are more likely not to favor programs that support clean energy or conserving energy. That's the connection I made. One's views about conserving energy, incentivizing alternative (clean) energy sources in various ways and controlling drilling for fossil fuels are all related to one's views about the environment. But I am not saying, did not say, that it's a one-to-one mesh.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 02:58:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But unfortunately your diary has a huge gap (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim

          Sometime energy, e.g. solar and wind, will never in our lifetimes replace fossil fuels.  Clean baseload energy, e.g. geothermal and biomass, would

          It is most refreshing to see that Democrats really do have a base of voters quite distinct from Republicans.  Less happy is to know elected politicians do not so clearly distinguish themselves.

          Two mugwumps facing in opposite directions do not make much of a contest for president.

          Best,  Terry

          •  "Sometime energy, e.g. solar and wind... (0+ / 0-)

            ... will never in our lifetimes replace fossil fuels."

            Not in my lifetime, I'm sure. But in the next 50 years? I don't agree. Renewables include more than wind and solar, by the way. But even there, the change in the past 20 years has been immense.

            One example: Ten years ago, the capacity factor for wind turbines (that is, how much electricity they produced vs. how much they could produce) was in the low- to mid-20% range. Now, for the newest, largest machines, it's 50%. And they are not done improving yet.

            Efficiency of solar cells has been growing steadily but more slowly. Within my lifetime, I believe new solar cell designs will generate power in parity with conventional (i.e. coal, nuclear) sources.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 07:42:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  It is kind of funny (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, Larsstephens

    How republicans worry about the federal budget deficit more than the health of the planet.  Praise the Lord !

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 10:53:37 AM PDT

    •  Republicans worry (0+ / 0-)

      So what are you doing personally to help the health of the planet?  And exactly what should America do and how much should we spend to clean up the planet, since you know damn well that China, Russia, and India along with a boatload of third world countries won't be spending a dime towards it.

      And come to think of it, what is it again that everyone is afraid of? The global temperature rising a couple of degrees in the next hundred years? If you truly believe there is fucking thing we can do to stop that from happening, you're a moron.

      •  Moron here -> (0+ / 0-)

        So there is nothing?
        Giving up on the place you live?

        Consider it this way. Do you take a shit in your living room? Why would you? Or perhaps you should just bury it in your front lawn. Why not just keep all your trash piled up in that spare room you have?

        The concept you have that there is nothing that can be done is actually defeatist and a bit depressing. The fact is that we as billions of people have done something to affect a world wide ecological balance over the years. So it logically, can be assumed that we can affect positive change in that system as well. That is if we have less people acting like you are and more people actually giving a damn about the place they live in.

        Yes, it's daunting. And a bit overwhelming considering some large economies aren't as willing to engage in fixing the problem today as they should be. But that takes time.

        But you can start making your contribution today by just considering what you buy and where you buy it from. Consumer purchasing power is what drives change in business practices. So why not try making a change instead of giving up already.

        The planet might appreciate it later.

        "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

        by Wynter on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 12:37:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  come on... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, Odysseus, Larsstephens
    Although Americans in both parties have strong opinions about energy and energy use, with nearly 90 percent saying they have tried to do something in the past year to conserve energy, fewer than 20 percent are aware of local, state and federal programs that provide tax credits for home renovation for conserving energy and installation of alternative energy sources, rebates for buying energy-saving technologies, home energy audits, hybrid car tax credits or LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which rates buildings, including residences, for energy efficiency, among other things).
    what hole have these people been hiding in?
    the airwaves are filled with ads touting, the federal rebates will end soon!!! buy now!!!
    Don't they have ads on FOX?
  •  Remember when Glenn Beck had that thing on (5+ / 0-)

    his radio show where he used to openly encourage listeners to increase the amount of energy they waste. And then callers would brag about wasteful things that can be done in daily life.

    Well, the 9% who believe that they use alot of energy are likely Beck listeners, and they're bragging. (I mean, that type of persons actually do exist.)

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 11:04:59 AM PDT

  •  very informative post, (3+ / 0-)

    but at same time not surprising this:

    Partisan identification is a stronger marker than gender, race, age, education, income or geography in Americans' attitudes about U.S. energy needs and policies.
    A few years ago, i wrote how gop had this "political faith" that trumped facts and science. This quote backs what i think many believed in terms of not just environmental issues, but many issues where the facts simply don't matter. what matters is the BS meme that the gop is so good putting out in many mediums.

    How do you counter when facts are irrelevant?

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 12:38:11 PM PDT

  •  I don't know how you do it, MB (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    navajo, Larsstephens

    How you keep so far ahead of things, that everything you write is new--and vital, and interesting, and well-composed.

    I don't know how you do it, but please, keep it up!
    And thank you!

  •  So more than half of Repubs think (0+ / 0-)

    the environment is important?

    Do they just think it's important that we destroy it as quickly as possible or something? Surely that's it, because otherwise the cognitive dissonance is headache-inducing.

  •  To The Republicans who keep trying to give us (0+ / 0-)

    Astronomy lessons-People who live off the power Grid; for whatever reason' use batteries just like the old WWII diesel submarines This gives the 24 x 7 rain or shine power.

    Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

    by JML9999 on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 07:07:01 PM PDT

  •  I wished they would have asked (0+ / 0-)

    how many republicans believe the US has plenty of oil, because I’ve heard numerous republicans say “the US has plenty of oil”. When you try to correct them they say something like “it’s the liberal media telling people that we’re out of oil”. Somebody is telling republicans that the US has plenty of oil. Every time I hear that, I tell them “they wouldn’t be building a trillion-dollar pipeline to ship in the hardest-to-refine-shit-in-the-world (tar sands) if the US has plenty of oil”.

    •  I wished they would have asked (0+ / 0-)

      Well Mike, seems you're so worried about the amount of oil we have, why don't you shut that 'ol computer off and the air conditioner and the lights off at your place, oh, and the TV and just STFU for awhile and save a few barrels all by yourself. Maybe Al Gore will present you  with a "I'm the #1 Green Freak" badge next year that you can show off to all your friends.

      By the way, since you claim to be the Go To Guy on the exact amount of barrels of oil this country has beneath the ground, just what is that number anyway Mike? I'm sure everyone here is waiting with baited breath. I know i am

  •  I've never understood why the environment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo

    wasn't more important to republicans.  Don't they breathe air and drink water?  Isn't there food grown in or on soil? And generally speaking republicans populate more rural areas where I assume they're more likely to spend time in "nature", and yet they consider an agency who's job it is to protect the environment to be a waste of money.

  •  Fox News is causing this effect (0+ / 0-)

    Meteor, what I think we are seeing here in your data, is the fallout of years of FOX News propaganda. The conservative electorate at best are a low information crowd. I am not trying to insult them by this. They have better things to do in their individual lives and look at the world through the lens of "Conservative Media" to see what the issues are. And FOX News and the conservative internet sites have them completely isolated from the facts around them.

    I think there is a disparity in what these people "think" is important now, compared to what they "would think" is important if these propaganda sources weren't spewing lies into their heads.

    I would like to see the data broken down by where those polled got their information from on a regular basis. I would bet that there is a striking difference between the regular conservative and the FOX News fed conservative.

    Mooo!

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Sat Jun 16, 2012 at 12:27:41 AM PDT

  •  what strikes me most about these numbers... (0+ / 0-)

    ...is not the differences but the similarities.  By using a baseline on your graph of 50%, the graph seems to indicate that very few republicans are concerned about some of these issues, which I think may not be entirely true.  The graph should use a baseline of 0% to indicate just how much concensus there may be in the country and how that concensus is just not at all reflected in our political institutions.  

    It appears that there is wide agreement on what problems need to be addressed, but little agreement on the ways to address them.  In a civil political environment, it seems natural that a political policy concensus could be reached.

    However, that is not the nation that we live in right now.

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