White House

A new ORC International survey conducted for the nonprofit Civil Society Institute (CSI) and Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that Americans are not against domestic energy production; however, they are not willing to sacrifice clean water, increased energy efficiency, and expanded wind and solar power as a cost. The study—available at AmericanCleanEnergyAgenda.org—polled 809 residents to get an idea of the views of Americans.

“This survey should be a wake-up call for federal elected officials. The polling data we are releasing today should give pause to decision makers who assume the American public will support energy policies without regard to consequences or the impact these choices have on safe drinking water,” said Pam Solo, president and founder, Civil Society Institute, in a statement. “The voracious appetite that conventional energy such as gas, oil, coal and nuclear power has on water availability is increasingly a problem for many parts of the country. When given a menu of choices and not asked a simple ‘yes or no’ question, Americans weigh our options and come down in favor of increased energy efficiency and low environmental impact and healthier energy futures such as wind and solar power.”

Key survey findings on broad energy issues, according to a press release, include:

  • 94 percent of Americans – including 92 percent of Republicans, 87 percent of Independents, and 98 percent of Democrats – want political leadership on balancing calls for more energy production in U.S. with protecting clean water and air.
  • 91 percent of Americans feel it is important that their member of Congress demonstrate leadership on a “national agenda for clean energy and protecting America’s water and air.”   The vast majority of Republicans (85 percent), Independents (87 percent), and Democrats (96 percent) agree on the need for such leadership.
  • 92 percent of Americans think “U.S. energy planning and decision making” should be based on “a comprehensive understanding of what our national water resources are” – a national water roadmap that Congress asked for, but which was never produced.   The national water roadmap attracts the support of 92 percent of Republicans, 89 percent of Independents, and 94 percent of Democrats.
  • 86 percent of Americans want leadership on shifting from coal and nuclear energy to wind and solar.  Support for this approach exists across party lines, including 72 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Independents, and 97 percent of Democrats.
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Susmita is a writer and editor in the Greater New York City area. In her spare time, Susmita enjoys cooking, traveling, dappling in photography, art history and interior design, and moonlighting as a therapist for her loved ones.

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