Society

Poll: Most Americans Now Say Clean Energy Is A Priority

| by Ray Brown
A Wind Farm In West TexasA Wind Farm In West Texas

More Americans than ever want to emphasize clean and alternative energy sources over gas and oil, according to a Gallup poll released March 24.

The poll showed 73 percent of Americans favor a change in their energy sources, which is significantly higher than the 66 percent who thought the same thing in 2011. The number of Americans who would rather emphasize oil and gas are at the lowest point since 2011, at 21 percent.

The preference for alternative energy is now less of a partisan issue. According to Gallup, the majority of Republicans also support emphasizing the use of non-oil and gas sources for the first time: 51 percent of Republicans say they favor alternative energy.

Among Democrats and those who lean Democrat, 89 percent support alternative energy.

Gallup said one reason for the increase in support for alternative energy could be falling gas prices. When gas prices are high, people support more exploration and drilling for oil and gas. But when prices are low, people are more open to the idea of putting an emphasis on alternative energy.

For example, in March, 2013, the average price of gas per gallon was $3.64 and support for alternative fuels was at 59 percent. But in March, 2016, the average price per gallon of gas was $1.87 and support for alternative fuels was 73 percent.

But environmental concerns are also on people's minds and this likely contributes to the uptick in alternative energy preferences.

According to another Gallup poll, 64 percent of Americans are worried “a great deal” or “fair amount” about global warming, which is the highest level since 2000, when 72 percent of Americans felt the same way.

Of those polled, 36 percent are worried “only a little” or “not at all” about the environment. That's lower than than the past seven years, but not as low as in 2007, 2001, or 1999, which showed the number of Americans who are not worried about global warming fluctuates at a different rate than those who worry.

When asked if global warming is a “serious threat” and whether it will affect them in their lifetime, most thought it was not.

According to the Gallup poll, 41 percent of Americans said they did believe their way of life could be affected, while 57 percent did not.

Sources: Gallup (2) / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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