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POLL: Action on climate & clean energy receives broad, bi-partisan public support

14 Jun 2011  |   Emma Brown

Tags: Clean Energy, Climate Change

The public overwhelmingly supports taking broader steps to curb climate change regardless of political affiliation a study released Tuesday by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found. 

Americans widely support the government making addressing climate change and developing clean energy sources a medium to high priority. Additionally, Americans were willing to sacrifice some degree of economic impact in exchange for a broader effort to address climate change and develop alternative clean energy solutions. 

Key findings of the study include:

  • 71 percent of Americans say global warming should be a very high (13%), high (27%), or medium (31%) priority for the president and Congress, including 50 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of Independents and 88 percent of Democrats.
  • Despite ongoing concerns about the economy, 67 percent of Americans say the U.S. should undertake a large (29%) or medium-scale effort (38%) to reduce global warming, even if it has large or moderate economic costs.
  • 82 percent of Americans (including 76% of Republicans, 74% of Independents, and 94% of Democrats) say that protecting the environment either improves economic growth and provides new jobs (56%), or has no effect (26%). Only 18 percent say environmental protection reduces economic growth and costs jobs.
  • 91 percent of Americans say developing sources of clean energy should be a very high (32%), high (35%), or medium (24%) priority for the president and Congress, including 85 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Independents, and 97 percent of Democrats.
  • 84 percent of Americans support funding more research into renewable energy sources, including 81 percent of Republicans, 81 percent of Independents, and 90 percent of Democrats.
  • 68 percent of Americans support requiring electric utilities to produce at least 20% of their electricity from renewable energy sources, even if it costs the average household an extra $100 a year, including 58 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of Independents, and 82 percent of Democrats.

The message to American lawmakers is clear: An overwhelming majority of Americans support taking action to stop climate change and to solve the current energy crisis through clean and renewable energy sources.

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