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:
- Swing state poll finds 60% “would be more likely to vote for their senator if he or she supported the bill” and Independents support the bill 2-to-1 (9/09)
- New CNN poll finds “nearly six in 10 independents” support cap-and-trade (10/09)
- Voters in Ohio, Michigan and Missouri overwhelmingly support action on clean energy and global warming (11/09)
- Overwhelming US Public Support for Global Warming Action (12/09)
- Public Opinion Stunner: WashPost-ABC Poll Finds Strong Support for Global Warming Reductions Despite Relentless Big Oil and Anti-Science Attacks (12/09)
- It’s all about Independents “” and Independence (1/10)
- Yale: When asked whether they “support or oppose regulation carbon dioxide”¦as pollutant,” 73 percent said yes, with only 27 percent opposed, including 61 percent of Republicans (2/10)