Majorities say renewables are better for energy independence, national security, jobs
Nearly eight in 10 support ban on Russian oil and gas
Close to seven in 10 support accelerating transition to renewable energy
A new poll released today finds voters in the United States see renewable energy production as a way to boost energy independence, national security, and the country’s economy in response to skyrocketing energy prices as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The poll from Nexus Polling, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication also finds strong support for policies to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and increase renewable energy production here at home.
Voters are paying attention to Russia’s war against Ukraine, and despite being worried about the price of gas they support the ban on Russian oil and gas. More than nine in 10 (92%) U.S. voters have seen a lot or some about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the vast majority are worried about the price of gasoline (89%) and natural gas (84%). Despite the increase in gasoline prices, nearly eight in 10 (79%) voters in the United States support the ban on importing Russian oil and gas, and majorities still support the ban even if it increases gasoline prices by 25 cents per gallon (66%) or 50 cents per gallon (55%).
Nearly half (46%) of voters say increasing domestic production of natural gas, which is
composed mostly of methane, to export it overseas will increase gas prices here in the United States. And when told energy analysts predict that if the U.S. exports more gas to Europe,domestic gas prices will increase and families and businesses will have higher electricity and heating bills, support for expanding gas exports drops 23 points from 67% to 44%.
“It’s important for voters to realize that exporting American gas means bigger profits for fossil fuel companies and higher energy bills for average Americans,” said Dr. Edward Maibach, director of the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. “Voters believe investing in renewable energy will not only save them money, but it will help the United States and the world avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”
Voters agree it’s more important than ever for the United States to become energy independent (87%) and less dependent on fossil fuels (71%) because of the spike in gasoline and gas prices that have resulted from Russia’s war against Ukraine. Nearly six in 10 voters say increasing production of renewable energy here in the United States (59%) will be better for energy independence than increasing production of fossil fuels (35%). A majority of voters also say increasing domestic renewable energy production will boost national security (55%) and the number of good jobs here in the United States (53%).
There’s also widespread support for policies to transition the United States toward more
renewable energy as a response to Russia’s war against Ukraine. Three-quarters (75%) of
voters support expanding tax credits and rebates for energy efficiency and weatherization
programs. At least two-thirds support accelerating the transition to renewable energy (68%) and providing financial incentives for homeowners and landlords to purchase all-electric appliances (67%), and close to six in 10 (59%) support accelerating the transition to electric cars and trucks.
About six in 10 voters also support President Biden using the Defense Production Act to
increase the production and mining of lithium-ion battery materials in the U.S. (63%) and
increase domestic production and export of heat pumps to our European allies (60%). And voters favor policies to help individuals and families deal with increased energy prices: More than six in 10 (63%) support enacting a windfall tax on oil and gas companies to help individuals and families pay rising energy bills.
“Voters want more clean, renewable energy,” said Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. “They also want energy independence, and they see renewable energy as the best way to achieve it.”
For more detail on the poll results, please see the poll toplines.
Climate Nexus, in partnership with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, conducted a representative survey March 25-31, 2022, of 1,965 registered voters in the United States. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 2.3% at the 95% confidence level.