Energy Independence vs. Energy Illiteracy
Americans overwhelmingly want a new direction for U.S. energy policy in the United States and believe dependence on imported oil is a very serious problem.
These and other findings were part of a survey of attitudes on the environment conducted last month for the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies by Global Strategy Group.
Dan Esty, director of the Yale Center of Environmental Law and Policy, was delighted by the large consensus across all regions.
"In a country where everything is so deeply divided, we have a staggeringly high percentage of people aligning for change," Esty said.
More than two-thirds say the federal government isn't doing enough, while 63 percent want President Bush to do more.
Just over half of those polled in the nationwide survey believe the environment in the United States is getting worse. Among Democrats, 70 percent take this pessimistic stance, as do a majority of independents and 33 percent of Republicans.
Party distinctions disappear on the seriousness of America's dependence on imported oil, with 94 percent of Republicans, 91 percent of independents and 93 percent of Democrats expressing concern.
Asked the best way to address this problem, 93 percent want the government to require the auto industry to improve gas mileage, an opinion that showed no gender or political gap.
This puts the electorate squarely at odds with Congress, which recently rejected a proposal to make SUVs and minivans more fuel efficient.
"This is a wake-up call to Washington. The political class appears to be out of touch with their constituents," Esty said.
Across the board, people favored more solar power facilities, wind-turbine farms and increased funding for renewable energy research.
To quote the conclusion of the excellent "End of Oil" by Paul Roberts which I just finished reading:
"Each year that we fail to commit to serious energy research and development or fail to begin slowing the growth of energy demand through fuel efficiency, each year that we allow the markets to continue treating carbon as cost-free, is another year in which our already unstable energy economy moves so much closer to the point of no return."
It's time to stop dropping the ball.
It's time to go gas optional.
Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy Environmental Poll
The nationwide sample of 1,000 Americans over the age of 18 was randomly selected and the telephone poll was conducted from May 15-22. The survey has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Labels: energy policy