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Most Americans want to reduce fossil fuel use, strongly support solar and wind, poll shows

A recent Gallup poll shows most Americans support proposals that aim to “dramatically” reduce the use of fossil fuels. Solar and wind power also earned a strong show of support in the poll.

Sixty percent of adults favor or strongly favor “proposals to dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels such as gas, oil and coal in the U.S. within the next 10 or 20 years, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” according to Gallup’s poll results. By political party, 80 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Independents favor such proposals, but only 37 percent of Republicans.

The total numbers were the same when Americans were asked, “How likely do you think it is that the U.S. could dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels within the next 10 or 20 years?” Again, 60 percent of Americans see it as either “likely” or “very likely.”

The poll also asked Americans about their preference for certain energy sources, including solar, wind, natural gas, nuclear, oil, and coal. Solar and wind were the overwhelming favorites, with 80 percent of respondents wanting “more emphasis” on solar power, and 70 percent wanting the same from wind. Only 28 percent of respondents wanted more emphasis on producing energy from oil, and 22 percent from coal. The poll’s release notes:

“Support for greater emphasis on solar and wind energy has been stable since 2013, but support for more oil, natural gas and coal has fallen in that time.

Almost two in three Americans wanted greater emphasis on natural gas production in 2013, but that figure has dropped by 19 percentage points in the years since.”

The most mixed results came from Gallup asking respondents how they believe new environmental and energy laws designed to reduce global warming will impact the economy. 41 percent of respondents believe that such laws would definitely or probably hurt the economy. But it’s almost a split, as 37 percent of respondents believe it would definitely or probably help the economy. Interestingly, 19 percent of respondents believe such laws would have no economic effect.

But even there, public sentiment seems to have shifted. Gallup asked the same question in March 2010, and at that point, nearly half of all respondents believed such laws would hurt the economy.

Gallup conducted its latest poll from March 1-10, 2019 using cellphone and landline respondents. Americans 18 and older in all 50 states and Washington D.C. were polled, with a random sample of 1,039 adults used.

Electrek’s Take

The results are unsurprising. We’ve seen many polls that show similar results, and solar and wind power have strong support across the board.

But if there’s an area where Americans need convincing, it’s that transitioning to cleaner energy can actually benefit the economy, and not harm it.

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