Poll: Green energy popular, partisan split on oil

March 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Roughly three-quarters of U.S. residents want the country to boost emphasis on wind and solar power production, making the fuels much more popular than coal, nuclear and oil, a new poll shows.

Natural gas, which has substantial political backing among lawmakers in both parties, is close behind renewable energy in popularity, the Gallup poll shows.

But there’s a big partisan split in popular support for domestic oil production, according to the poll conducted in early March and released Wednesday.

The numbers: Seventy-six percent of U.S. residents want “more emphasis” on producing solar power and 71 percent have that view about wind power.

Sixty-five percent want more emphasis on natural gas, and then there’s a big dip.

Forty-six percent of respondents want more emphasis on oil and 37 percent have that view on nuclear power, which dips to 31 percent for coal.

Seventy one percent of Republicans want more emphasis on oil production, compared to 29 percent of Democrats.

Support for increasing emphasis on producing renewable power production is in the 83-87 percent range among Democrats, while 68-59 percent of Republicans have that view of solar and wind, respectively.

Natural gas is the most popular among Republicans, with 78 percent seeking “more emphasis.”

Gallup also looks at regional differences.

“Those living in the South tend to be more supportive of traditional energy sources such as oil and coal than are those in other regions. Still, for Americans in every region, including the South, solar power is the top choice, or is tied for the top spot, among the energy sources tested,” notes Dennis Jacobe, Gallup’s chief economist, in a statement about the poll.

The poll of 1,022 adults has a margin of error of 4 percent.

U.S. wind and solar power production are both growing, but still comprise a small percentage of U.S. energy.

Natural-gas production is at record levels, and production of oil — which is used mostly for transportation, not electricity — is at a two-decade high.

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