Listen Up Senate: Majority of Americans Want Clean Energy Reform


Photo via the DCist

Yet another poll has rolled in, revealing in clear terms -- and by wide margins -- that US citizens want comprehensive clean energy reform. Even if they have to pay more in energy costs. The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, conducted by McCain pollster Bill McInturff (R), along with Peter Hart (D), found that by a stunning 2 to 1 margin, Americans want good, comprehensive energy reform that reduces carbon emissions and stimulates clean energy development. Here's the breakdown:First, the question didn't pull any punches, as sometimes is the case in such polls. Here's the question:

Do you support or oppose an energy proposal designed to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, even if it means an increase in the cost of energy? And, do you strongly (support/oppose) or just somewhat (support/oppose) this?
And, here's how the responses lined up (via Climate Progress):


In total, that means 63% of respondents favor an energy plan that reduces carbon emissions and spurs clean energy development at an unspecified additional cost to themselves -- and only 31% oppose it.

In part, this eagerness for energy reform has surely been spurred by the crisis caused by the BP Gulf spill (though support for comprehensive, global warming-fighting energy legislation has been favored by the majority in polling for at least a year now). As you can see, the only things Americans want action on more is the economy:


Which is why, in a better world, some shrewd politician would amp up the current energy bill (instead of paring it down), and include green jobs provisions to address both concerns. Which brings us to those real-world politicians -- as you may be aware, the Senate is currently stumbling over itself, trying to land on a safe, voter-approved way to get an energy bill through. Dems are worried there aren't enough votes for comprehensive energy reform (the kind US citizens want), so they're looking at a bevy of weaker options like the utility-only bill and an energy-only bill.

All I can say is that I hope news of this poll makes a mark on the dithering Senate -- Americans want to start working to end our oil dependence, become leaders in clean energy, and yes, fight global warming. And they're evidently willing do it even if energy costs rise.

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