As Gas Prices Pinch, Support for Oil and Gas Production Grows
At a time of rising gas prices, more Americans continue to view the development of alternative energy sources as a higher priority than the increased production of oil, coal and natural gas, but the gap has narrowed considerably over the past year.
Partisan Divide Over Alternative Energy Widens
Public support for increased federal funding on research into alternative energy technology, including solar technology, has decreased substantially since the early months of the Obama administration, with nearly all the decline coming from Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.
Opposition to Nuclear Power Rises amid Japanese Crisis
Support for the increased use of nuclear power has declined amid the ongoing nuclear emergency in Japan. But with the surge in gas prices, support for increased offshore oil and gas drilling is growing.
Obama’s Rating Steady Despite Tough Environment
While facing a controversial health care bill, a high jobless rate and the largest environmental disaster in the nation’s history, the president’s approval rating (48%) hasn’t moved this year. A majority now opposes increased offshore drilling, but a large partisan split remains. Americans back Arizona’s tough immigration law, but also support a “path to citizenship.”
Fueling Both Sides of the Energy Debate
Americans want expanded exploration and development of coal, oil and gas in the U.S. but also want limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Michele Obama’s favorability stays strong but the president’s and Sarah Palin’s popularity slip.
Oil Spill Seen As Ecological Disaster
Americans are critical of the government’s response to the environmental disaster in the Gulf, but even more so of BP. Support for offshore oil drilling is down, though Republican opinion is unchanged.