Sixty-six percent of registered US voters say developing sources of clean energy should be a high or very high priority for the president and Congress. That’s according to a study released last week by Yale University and George Mason University’s climate change communication programs.
US voters on green energy
Nearly 1,000 registered voters from across the political spectrum — Republicans, Democrats, and independents – were surveyed in December. Here’s what the researchers found out about energy policies overall, according to the executive summary (and click on the link above to see more results). In descending support order:
- 82% support providing tax rebates to people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels.
- 82% support funding more research into renewable energy sources.
- 80% support generating renewable energy (solar and wind) on public land in the US.
- 78% support providing federal funding to put solar panels on the roofs of public schools.
- 74% support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant.
- 72% support transitioning the US economy (including electric utilities, transportation, buildings, and industry) from fossil fuels to 100% clean energy by 2050.
- 67% support requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a tax on the carbon pollution they produce, and using that revenue to reduce other taxes (such as the federal income tax) by an equal amount (i.e., a revenue-neutral carbon tax).
- 67% support installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the US by 2030.
- 66% support requiring electric utilities to produce 100% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2035.
- 66% support eliminating all carbon pollution created by coal, oil, and natural gas from the U.S. economy by 2050.
- 55% support increasing federal subsidies for the renewable energy while 49% support decreasing subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.
And it looks as though President Joe Biden’s decision to have the US rejoin the Paris Agreement is going to be a popular one, because 75% of those polled last month said they supported it. Further, 79% supported a president – now Biden – hosting a meeting of the leaders of large industrialized nations to urge them to do more to reduce global warming, and yesterday, he announced that would happen on April 22.
One result Electrek readers may find particularly interesting: only 44% support requiring that, by 2030, all new cars, trucks, and SUVs sold in the US are electric vehicles. So unlike the UK, which is implementing just that with Conservative prime minister Boris Johnson at the helm, US voters aren’t as bullish on switching over to all electric vehicles just yet and still want to hold onto their gas guzzlers.
So tax rebates and funding research were the big favorites. Is that because those things are already familiar? Policies aimed at regulating industry saw slightly less support, and that was particularly unpopular among conservative Republicans, unsurprisingly, with only 29% supporting eliminating all carbon pollution from coal, oil, and gas.
Liberal Democrat support for all of the above was consistently above 90%, and moderate Democrats tended to be in the 80% range, apart from research, at 91%. For moderate Republicans, anything that required change in the economy dropped into the 50s and 60 percentage point range.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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