Most Americans Want Congress to Focus on Clean Energy Legislation

Public wants leadership on clean energy development

According to a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted last month, of the eight major legislative initiatives Congress could accomplish this year, 83 percent of Americans want a clean energy bill to top their list of priorities.

Respondents to the poll favored Congress focusing on clean energy more than overhauling the tax code, withdrawing from Afghanistan, passing stronger gun control, and dealing with immigration issues. The results also suggest that Americans want progress on clean energy development more than expansion of oil and gas drilling.

Given the often ridiculous nature of partisan politics in Washington, another encouraging sign for clean energy action, at least the idea of action, is the partisan breakdown of the numbers: 93 percent of democrats favor passing clean energy legislation, followed by 82% of independents, and 75% of republicans. In a statement Gallup said:

“With Republicans in control of the House of Representatives and Democrats in control of the Senate, it would appear the proposals with the best chances of passing are those that generate strong bipartisan support. That is clearly the case for a bill that would provide incentives for increased use of alternative energy”

Most Americans want Congress to focus on clean energy

Just don’t say “cap and trade”

The support for clean energy comes with a pronounced absence of any reference to climate change or global warming. An idea supported by a study conducted last year at George Mason University (pdf) that tracked the US public’s declining interest and concern over global warming. In that study researchers found that 85 percent favor increased support for solar and wind, while only 58 percent believed that cap and trade was a good idea for the country.

The Gallup poll results come on the heals of president Obama’s State of the Union address last week calling for 80 percent of the nations electricity come from clean energy sources (unfortunately including “clean” coal).

Additional source:
ClimateWire (subscription required)

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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  1. That is so silly for individuals to “want” Congress to take action. Action is a personal responsibility and all those individuals who desire clean energy just need to step up to the plate and start using it in their daily lives then the legislation will happen – Where the People go the Leaders will Follow -)


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