Polls on the environment, energy, global warming, and nuclear power: April 2013
AEI Public Opinion Study

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AEI Public Opinion Study - Environment and Energy - April 2013

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With the economy the top concern in Americans’ minds, have environmental and energy issues moved to the back burner? 

AEI’s latest Public Opinion Study looks at polls on the environment, energy, global warming, and nuclear power. Among the highlights:

•  No questions appear to have been asked during the 2012 campaign about whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney would do a better job handling environmental issues.  Only a few questions were asked about which candidate would do better on energy issues, and Americans were closely divided. 

•  Gallup questions on topics such as air and water pollution show public concerns have declined over the past 25 years. In 1989, 72 percent said they worried a great deal about the pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Today, 46 percent give that response.  

•  A January 2013 Pew poll found that only 28 percent of Americans believe that dealing with global warming should be a top priority for President Obama and Congress. Global warming ranked last among the 21 issues Pew asked about. 

•  In March 2013, 66 percent told Pew pollsters that they favored building the Keystone XL pipeline, and 23 percent opposed.  All recent polls show majority support for building the pipeline.

•  When asked to choose, Americans prefer developing alternative energy sources over exploring and expanding traditional sources. In a February 2013 Pew poll, 54 percent preferred developing alternative sources such as wind, solar, and hydrogen technology. Thirty-four percent approved of expanding exploration and production of oil, coal, and natural gas.  

•  Fifty-eight percent supported expanding offshore drilling for oil and natural gas off the US coast in an August–September 2012 Yale/George Mason poll. A clear majority of Americans believe nuclear power is safe, but 62 percent would not like a nuclear power plant in their community, according to a CBS survey. 

 

Polls on the Environment, Energy, Global Warming, and Nuclear Power - AEI Public Opinion Study, April 2013 by American Enterprise Institute

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About the Author

 

Karlyn
Bowman
  • Karlyn Bowman compiles and analyzes American public opinion using available polling data on a variety of subjects, including the economy, taxes, the state of workers in America, environment and global warming, attitudes about homosexuality and gay marriage, NAFTA and free trade, the war in Iraq, and women's attitudes. In addition, Ms. Bowman has studied and spoken about the evolution of American politics because of key demographic and geographic changes. She has often lectured on the role of think tanks in the United States and writes a weekly column for Forbes.com.
  • Phone: 2028625910
    Email: kbowman@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Andrew Rugg
    Phone: 2028625917
    Email: andrew.rugg@aei.org

 

Andrew
Rugg

 

Jennifer K.
Marsico
  • Jennifer K. Marsico is a senior research associate at AEI, working in the Political Corner. Her research focuses on elections and election reform, as well as government continuity issues. She is a visiting fellow at the Independent Women's Forum. She is also a contributor to the AEIdeas blog, and has also written for many outside print and online publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Roll Call. Ms. Marsico serves as assistant director of the AEI-Brookings Continuity of Government Commission, and has contributed to recent studies on Supreme Court continuity, voter registration modernization, and civic participation in the digital age.

  • Phone: 202.862.5899
    Email: jennifer.marsico@aei.org

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