Public Opinion on Environment and Energy

Gallup has issued the results of a very interesting poll about environment and energy. Here are their findings:

Public Attitudes on Environment and Energy

There’s surprisingly broad support for more vigorous environmental enforcement and more clean energy, including about half of Republicans.  The reason for the partisan gap is that there’s such strong support among Democrats, not so much that all Republicans are anti-environmental.  Maybe there are subsets of independent voters who share the anti-environmental views of the GOP base, but it seems dubious that the positions espoused in the Republican primary and by the GOP caucus in Congress are going to be big vote-getters.

However, the poll results are not all good news for environmentalists.  According to Gallup:

But the economic problems of the last several years have had a modest impact on these attitudes, with support for most of the proposals down from 2007, when Gallup last measured them. And, Gallup trends show that, apart from attitudes about nuclear power, Republicans’ and Democrats’ views on these issues have grown more polarized over the past four years, mirroring the contentious nature of recent policy discussions in Washington over energy and the environment.

Reader Comments

2 Replies to “Public Opinion on Environment and Energy”

  1. One problem with these kind of polls is that they don’t measure issue saliency. If you factor that in, most environmental problems are about as important to the American people (Democrats and Republicans alike) as excessive back hair, usually ranking somewhere between 28 and 33 in a list of issues. So, politicos aren’t goosed to act, or alternatively, can blithely satisfy special interests who have a “special interest” in scuppering environmental protections.

  2. One problem with these kind of polls is that they don’t measure issue saliency. If you factor that in, most environmental problems are about as important to the American people (Democrats and Republicans alike) as excessive back hair, usually ranking somewhere between 28 and 33 in a list of issues. So, politicos aren’t goosed to act, or alternatively, can blithely satisfy special interests who have a “special interest” in scuppering environmental protections.

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About Dan

Dan Farber

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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