Some telling stats from a new poll by the University of Texas on how people in the United States feel about current national energy policy (h/t Yale e360): Just over 3400 people were surveyed, with 76% of them think the country isn't making adequate progress on renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. Less than 14% thinking US energy policy is heading in the right direction; a hair over 43% of people think energy policy is heading in the wrong direction (19% "definitely" in the wrong direction).
Just 8% think Congress is doing a good job on these issues. But 57% believe they themselves and their households are satisfied with addressing "important energy issues."
Other details: 84% of people are worried about the nation's dependence on foreign oil, with 40% thinking the situation will be only worse in 25 years.
Interestingly though, when asked about what US budget priorities should be, in terms of where more money should go, energy innovation and environmental protection are nearly at the very bottom of the list. Energy receiving a 3% response and environmental protection 2%. Unsurprisingly, job creation ranked highest (37%), followed by education (15%), social security (13%), health care (12%), and then military and defense (8%).
How people in the US prioritize economic growth or avoiding permanent harm to the environment is nearly evenly split, with 33% coming down on the side of the environment and 37% coming down on the side of economic growth. Of course, in many ways the question itself sets up a false dichotomy, but there it is.