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Cross posted from Scaling Green

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?

Originally posted to lowkell on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 04:55 PM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If only legislation were the stuff of polls. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 05:03:57 PM PDT

  •  Repub'ed to CCSOS. The mystery is, how come.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ....similar majorities seem to support Keystone XL completion?

    I mean, Keystone XL epitomizes the preference for "more production" over conservation, and for fossil over renewable.

    Which according to this poll (as well as historically, even with the temporary dip in 2010-12), the anti-KXL view should have been the solid majority one.


    Or any other explanation?

  •  Energy. (0+ / 0-)

    I am not anti-fracking in rural areas where the risk of miniquakes and water pollution is lessened in terms of total number of people affected. But there need to be laws and regulations passed that allow those affected to accrue wealth via the Alaska model from that fracking. Toward these ends there are eminent domain rights that should come into play, and people should be very well compensated.

    And fossil fuel companies need to be taxed to pay for renewable energy expansion -- if those same companies want to invest in renewable energy and receive some of their taxed money back, fine! It can be win-win, if a few simple structural hurdles can be leapt.

    In the end, I'm for an "all of the above" energy strategy the same as the president, but I'm not for a "status quo" energy policy where today's policy is good therefore it should be tomorrow's policy. We should pursue "all of the above" while delineating clearly through taxation, regulation, and legislation that "some of the above" don't have a place in American energy production 10, 20, 30 years from now.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:12:37 PM PDT

    •  Fracking scares me (0+ / 0-)

      I am worried about the chemicals used in fracking migrating to well water.  This would negatively affect agriculture and the ability to inhabit large portions of areas with frackable gas/oil.  Also many of the frackers do not safely dispose of contaminated waste water.  

      I don't think we need economic growth like we used to.  We have all the productive capacity to all live modestly but comfortably.  Why continue the ideology of cancer?  

      I am all for fossil fuel replacement and energy conservation.  

      I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

      by DavidMS on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 08:02:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two comments (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (1) I found it interesting that the trend lines on the conservation vs. production question largely follow those of the environmental protection vs. economic growth one. Not surprising, though.

    (2) I was disappointed to see the strong support for opening public lands to drilling.

  •  lowkell - how much more are people willing to pay (0+ / 0-)

    That's seems to me to always be the missing question in these polls.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 07:55:15 PM PDT

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