Poll shows strong support for balancing energy needs with environmental values

American voters want to put a higher priority on renewable energy development while protecting public lands from oil and gas development.

A bipartisan poll recently conducted by Hart Research Associates showed that voters prioritize developing clean energy while protecting public lands.

Voters responded to the wide range of energy and (anti-)environmental policies that the new congressional leadership is expected to push, showing weaknesses and a lack of public support for the agenda of some members of the incoming Congress.

The findings made it clear that Americans care about our public lands and a clean energy future.

The poll found that:

  • Five of every nine voters want the government to do more than it’s currently doing to promote renewable energy
  • The majority of voters want to put higher priority on protecting public lands from oil and gas development
  • Most voters oppose initiatives that would weaken protection of public lands, especially drilling for oil and gas on highly valued recreation lands

“Protected public lands like parks, monuments and wilderness areas make American communities healthy, economically-thriving places to live and raise our families,” says Jeremy Garncarz, senior director for designations for The Wilderness Society. “We also have a responsibility to protect our clean air and water and viable wildlife populations for future Americans. Congress should be working together to ensure those basic rights are handed down to the next generation.”

Voters across the political spectrum agree to a number of issues:

  • Our country needs to balance energy production with environmental values
  • Clean energy policies should foster innovation and manufacturing jobs
  • Voters across party lines oppose allowing oil and gas companies to export more oil overseas
  • Protecting drinking water is critical
  • Public lands with recreational values should be protected

These values demonstrate that Americans care about pursuing a clean energy future while protecting our most treasured wild places. Another poll released this past year found that voters care deeply about conservation of public lands, and another poll from this fall indicates that public land conservation can be supported by renewable energy development.

Conservation remains as popular as ever among American voters. The strong bi-partisan support and priorities outlined by time and again show that Congress should do more to protect our public lands, air and water.

Sources: https://www.americanprogress.org/press/release/2015/01/15/104581/release-cap-poll-finds-fossil-fuel-interests-dominate-agenda-of-new-congress-but-americans-favor-renewable-energy-environmental-protections/