Public Still Favors the Transition to Clean Energy

Conservatives have been doing their best to torpedo the movement toward clean energy by hyping controversies about the science behind global warming. But whatever effect these controversies have had on the public they do not appear to have undermined support for action on the clean energy front.

Take support for a cap-and-trade approach to limiting carbon dioxide emissions. Back in October, views on this approach were running 50-39 in favor according to a Pew Research Center poll. Recently, Pew tested this approach again and actually found a slight widening of support to 52-35 in favor.

From what you've read and heard, in general, do you favor or oppose setting limits on carbon dioxide emissions and making companies pay for their emissions, even if it may mean higher energy prices?

The same poll also shows support for a wide range of ways to address America’s energy supply. But, as in almost all other polls, the most popular option is to promote alternative energy. By 78-17, the public wants to see increased federal funding for research on wind, solar, and hydrogen technology.

As I read some possible government policies to address America's energy supply, tell me whether you would favor or oppose each. Would you favor or oppose the government increasing federal funding for research on wind, solar, and hydrogen technology?

Policymakers, take note. The public hasn’t given up on clean energy and neither should you.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.