Memo to policymakers: Public STILL favors the transition to clean energy

Conservatives have been doing their best to torpedo the movement toward clean energy by hyping controversies about the science behind global warming. But whatever effect these controversies have had on the public they do not appear to have undermined support for action on the clean energy front, as polling expert and CAP Senior Fellow Ruy Teixeira explains.Take support for a cap-and-trade approach to limiting carbon dioxide emissions. Back in October, views on this approach were running 50–39 in favor according to a Pew Research Center poll. Recently, Pew tested this approach again and actually found a slight widening of support to 52–35 in favor.

The same poll also shows support for a wide range of ways to address America’s energy supply. But, as in almost all other polls, the most popular option is to promote alternative energy. By 78–17, the public wants to see increased federal funding for research on wind, solar, and hydrogen technology.

Policymakers, take note. The public hasn’t given up on clean energy and neither should you.

— Ruy Teixeira. [For more of his public opinion analysis, go here.]

JR: I’d add that pretty much every major poll in the past six months makes clear that the public supports climate and energy legislation because it achieves multiple benefits, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions: