Americans choose energy conservation over production, says new Gallup poll

Solar energy panels.

Bart Speelman, Flickr

Americans still favor energy conservation over oil, gas and coal production, says a new Gallup poll that asked Americans young and old how they felt about solutions to the national energy crisis.

Saving energy saves wildlands, and an ever-growing number of Americans are hoping to see this approach reflected in our nation’s energy policy. Both conservation by consumers of existing energy supplies and energy efficient technology are critical strategies for reducing energy demands and our dependence on fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.

Currently, 57 percent of Americans believe that energy conservation should lead the way toward our nation’s energy future. This encouraging figure is up from 51 percent in 2013 and 48 percent in 2011.

Another 64 percent of Americans also support the development of clean renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, over the production of traditional fossil fuels.

Only one-third of U.S. residents prefer natural resource production as a means to address America’s growing energy problem, according to Gallup. Since Gallup began this poll in 2001 (they did not ask the question in 2009), Americans have consistently trended toward the more environmentally-friendly option of promoting energy conservation over production.

Of these respondents, those under 54 years “strongly” advocated for clean energy development over fossil fuel production. Across the board, younger Americans favored energy conservation and renewable energy production as solutions to our nation’s energy crisis.

There’s little doubt that renewable energy development must play a key part in our nation’s fight against climate change. Fortunately, it is one of the leading initiatives in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan of 2013, and clean energy power such as solar energy is at an all-time high in the U.S.

Choosing right and using right

While The Wilderness Society supports renewable energy alternatives, we also believe that clean energy projects are most effective when they don’t jeopardize sensitive wildlands and wildlife habitats. By choosing the right places and methods for developing clean energy, we can ensure our environment and local economies stay healthy.

Improving how we use energy and reducing energy wasted on inefficient appliances can curb development sprawl and protect our remaining landscapes. By managing energy demand, conservation and efficiency, we can not only fight the causes and effects of climate change, but limit harmful impacts on our wildlands as well.