U.S. Public Opinion Towards Energy

U.S. Public Opinion Towards Energy

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Description: This new poll takes Americans pulse on energy issues and solutions. Faced with many serious issues, Americans remain concerned about America’s energy outlook. They strongly support a long term strategic energy policy, based on a bipartisan approach and reflecting a fear of long term energy supply interruptions.

They are realistic and support a pragmatic approach that balances conventional and renewable energy, free markets and environmental stewardship….

 
Author: Charlton Research Company (Fellow) | Visits: 1819 | Page Views: 1825
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Contents:
Understanding U.S. Public Opinion Toward Energy Problems & Solutions

December 2008

Charlton Research Company

Introduction
This new poll, conducted in November 2008 � after
the U.S. election and amidst serious economic challenges � takes Americans pulse on energy issues and solutions. How urgent is it for the US to have a comprehensive energy policy at this time? What approaches to energy development are favored to be included in that energy policy? How is energy intertwined with the current economic challenges facing Americans?

Survey Methodology

Mode Audience Sample Size Field Dates Length Margin of Error Sponsor

Web Survey Voters in November 4, 2008 general election 1000n National November 6 - 16, 2008 54 questions +/-3.1 Chevron

Executive Summary
Faced with many serious issues, Americans remain
concerned about America's energy outlook.
Americans strongly support a long term strategic energy policy, based on a bipartisan approach and reflecting a fear of long term energy supply interruptions. Americans are realistic and support a pragmatic approach that balances conventional and renewable energy, free markets and environmental stewardship. Energy prices are a component of the public's number one concern today: the Economy. The public gives multiple reasons to explain to themselves why energy prices are what they are.

Informed Americans

Americans strongly support a long term strategic

energy policy, based on a bipartisan approach and reflecting a fear of long term energy supply interruptions.

Charlton Research Company

Most Americans Are Concerned About A U.S. Energy Shortfall
How likely do you think it is that over the next 10 years the U.S. will face a shortfall of energy available compared to what we need? Would you say it is very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, or not at all likely?

31%

Net: Likely 74%

Net: Unlikely 10%

1% 9% 43%
Very likely Somewhat likely Don't Know Not very likely Not at all likely

16%

Strong Support for U.S. Strategic Energy Policy
Do you favor or oppose each of these activities to increase America's energy supply? Get U.S. leaders to agree on a long term, non-partisan, energy policy for the United States including strategies to reduce demand, increase supply and develop more diverse sources of energy.
Favor Oppose Undecided

Independent

88

2 10

Democrat

87

13

Republican

83

3

14

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

There is a strong desire by Americans from both parties to take a bi partisan, long term approach to energy policy.

Public Opinion Suggests Several Energy Development Strategies
What do you think President-elect Barack Obama's administration needs to do to address the energy situation in the U.S.? Open Ended-First Mention
Encourage use of alternative/renewable/new sources of energy Allow offshore drilling/Drill oil in the U.S.

14% 19%

24%
Decrease dependence on oil from other countries/Become energy independent Fix the problem/Establish a plan

17% 3% 5% 6% 12%

Find ways/Explore all options/Conduct research to make energy accessible Decrease gas/oil prices Other Don't Know/Refused

Most Americans focus on energy supply, new development and policy planning as ways to address the country's energy needs.

Informed Americans

Americans are realistic and support a pragmatic

approach that balances conventional and renewable energy, free markets and environmental stewardship.

Charlton Research Company

Americans Opinions Point To A Balanced Approach To Energy Solutions
Which of the following statements comes closest to your view? Some people say: That the U.S. should expand its supply of conventional energy sources in the U.S. like oil and natural gas to ensure reliable supplies and stable energy prices to consumers. Other people say: That the U.S. should expand the use of alternative energy sources like ethanol, biofuels, and solar, which could increase the cost of energy to consumers.

Net: Expand Use of Alternative Energy 43%

26%

24%

Net: Expand Supply of Conventional Energy 41%

17% 16%

17%

Some People/Strongly Some People/Somewhat Undecided Other People/Somewhat Other People/Strongly

Conventional Vs. Alternative Energy Sources � By Party
Which of the following statements comes closest to your view? Some people say: That the U.S. should expand its supply of conventional energy sources in the U.S. like oil and natural gas to ensure reliable supplies and stable energy prices to consumers. Other people say: That the U.S. should expand the use of alternative energy sources like ethanol, biofuels, and solar, which could increase the cost of energy to consumers.
Expand Supply of Conventional Energy Expand Use of Alternative Energy Undecided

Republican

50

34

16

Independent

42

47

11

Democrat

33

49
30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%

18

0%

10%

20%

90%

100%

Independents are evenly balanced on what types of energy should be developed. Democrat and Republican party members also desire both conventional oil and gas and renewable energy to address the country's energy needs in significant proportions.

Strong Support for Expanding U.S. Energy with Renewable and Other Sources
Do you favor or oppose each of these activities to increase America's energy supply?
Favor Oppose Undecided

Develop renewable energy from sources like sun, water and wind. (Q.36)

92

17

Develop clean-coal technology, so we use the vast quantities of coal in this country for energy. (Q.33)

78

5

17

Accelerate development of energy from biomass, which turns grasses and plants into ethanol for vehicles. (Q.35)

70

8

22

Expand U.S. nuclear plants as a means to increase electricity. (Q.37)

60

12

28

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100 %

Americans support diversifying the U.S. energy mix by adding more renewable and other sources of energy.

Oil and Natural Gas Projects Strongly Favored By U.S. Public
Do you favor or oppose each of these activities to increase America's energy supply?
Favor Oppose Undecided

Mandate that technology such as safety valves be used to make new oil and natural gas production environmentally safe. (Q.40) Building natural gas terminals off the U.S. coasts to bring in more supply of natural gas. (Q.31)

76

3

21

74

5

21

Expand projects to get oil from shale and sand deposits located in North America. (Q.34) Grant U.S. government permits to companies to develop proven oil and natural gas fields off the coast of Florida. (Q.29) Permit access to federal lands to develop oil and natural gas resources. (Q.30)
0% 10% 20%

70

7

23

69

11

20

66
30% 40% 50% 60%

13
70% 80%

21
90% 100%

Americans support investment and expansion in U.S. oil and natural gas projects. Congress recently lifted moratoria which provides an opportunity to take actions in line with public support.

Encourage Energy Development Through Market vs. Taxation
Which of the following statements comes closest to your view? Some people say: That the U.S. government needs to raise taxes on the oil and gas industry and use the money to foster alternative energy development. Other people say: That the best way to develop alternative energy is to let the competitive market place, supply and demand, work to meet consumer needs.

Net: Let Competitive Market Place, Supply and Demand Work to Meet Consumer Needs 55%

12% 34% 12%

Net: Raise Taxes on Oil & Gas Industry 24%

Some People/Strongly

21% 21%

Some People/Somewhat Undecided Other People/Somewhat Other People/Strongly

Informed Americans

Energy prices are a component of the public's

number one concern today: the Economy. The public gives multiple reasons to explain to themselves why energy prices are what they are.

Charlton Research Company

"Economy" Predominates U.S. Public Concerns
Please rate the importance of various issues facing our country.
Most Important Economy Loss of Jobs Health care Gasoline/Energy Prices Energy supply Cost of products Education Immigration Environment Global warming
0%

Very/Somewhat Important

Unimportant

70 44 36 29 25 24 23 19 15 13
10% 20% 30%

29 55 61 68 73 73 73 66 72 62 15 13 25
60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

3 3

3 4

40%

50%

While the economy is clearly today's big issue, energy prices and energy supply are also rated highly important issues.

High Energy Prices Result From Many Factors � Imports Perceived As Biggest Problem
There has been quite a bit of attention paid to the energy issue lately, especially the cost of crude oil and gasoline prices. From what you have heard, which of the following do you think is the biggest cause of high fuel costs in the United States earlier this year? Biggest Cause Selected
The United States imports most its oil from oil exporting countries that are raising the price they charge

5% 17% 31%

The oil companies are charging higher prices to increase their profits

21% 26%

Worldwide demand for crude oil, especially in developing countries, has increased which leads to higher oil prices There is speculation on crude oil in the financial markets

Its harder and harder to find new supplies of oil as well as more and more expensive to do so -- these costs are then passed along in the form of higher consumer prices

The U.S. public recognizes many contributing factors to high energy costs. The most often cited factor is imports; the U.S. imports over 60% of its oil, largely to meet U.S. demands for transportation fuels.