Poll Shows Overwhelming Support For Action Now on Clean Energy and Reducing Global Warming

Public Finds Clean Energy and Conserving Natural Resources as Important Uses of Funds

05-15-2009 // NWF Media Team

WASHINGTON, DC -- Americans strongly support legislative proposals that invest in clean energy and cap global warming pollution, according to a summary of responses from registered voters in a poll conducted in April for the National Wildlife Federation.

As the House Energy and Commerce Committee prepares to mark up the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the National Wildlife Federation released national survey findings that show two-thirds of registered voters support all elements of a comprehensive climate and energy plan tested including: new standards for energy efficiency, requirements on utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, capping carbon pollution and requiring energy companies to reduce carbon pollution by 20 percent over the next decade, and a "smart grid" to transmit renewable energy sources.

The support for all elements of the plan is even stronger among key swing voter groups such as Independent women (78%), moderate Republicans (70%) and conservative Democrats (66%).

"Americans want change and that includes changing our energy policy," said Jennifer Jones, Vice President, Strategic Communications. "The findings show that Americans aren't interested in the status quo and want to move the clean energy economy forward to create jobs, revitalize the economy and reduce global warming pollution."

When asked whether all elements of the plan together represented too much change, not enough change or the right amount of change, 76 percent of Americans say it's the right amount of change or not enough.

Arguments against climate and energy legislation that suggested "massive energy taxes," "loss of jobs" and impacts on working families did not reduce interest in moving toward a clean energy economy. After hearing viewpoints on both sides of this issue, two-thirds of the electorate still say they want Congress to take action now.

In addition, when asked how funds generated from any legislation might be invested, voters placed emphasis on developing clean energy technologies, and protecting natural resources, followed by tax credits for consumers. Sixty-five percent of voters want funds to go toward developing clean energy; 54 percent want funds to go toward conserving natural resources impacted by global warming and 52 percent want funds to go toward tax credits.

"Americans want a better way to power our future and a better way to protect the planet. They see climate and energy legislation as the way to achieve both," said Jones.

"What we learned from this poll is consistent with, and builds upon, findings from many other recent polls that point to overwhelming public support for clean energy legislation and capping the carbon pollution that causes global warming. We also know from other polls that Americans will look more favorably toward members of Congress if they support this new direction for our country's energy policy," noted Jones.

"The public understands the need for, and the promise of, a clean energy economy," Jones said. "Now is the time for Congress to deliver what Americans want."

The nationwide survey of 800 voters was conducted April 7-9, 2009 by phone, with a margin of error of 3.46 percent. The survey sample was distributed proportionally throughout the country and is demographically representative of the electorate.

The National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.

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