Poll: Majority Favors Clean Energy Bill And Wants Senate To Take Action

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UTICA, New York – A majority of likely voters – 71% – favors the American Clean Energy and Security Act recently passed by the House of Representatives, and two-thirds (67%) believe Congress is either doing the right amount (22%) or should be doing more (45%) to address global warming, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.  Just 28% believe that Congress is doing too much.

Respondents were read the following statement regarding the American Clean Energy and Security Act:

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“The House of Representatives recently passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which would require electric power companies to generate 20 percent of their power from clean, renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, by the year 2020.  Also included is a global warming plan which would reduce greenhouse gases from sources like power plants and factories by 17 percent, and an energy efficiency plan which includes new appliance standards and building codes to conserve energy.”

Favorable views for the bill were high among all age and income groups and even among Republicans, with 45% having a favorable view of the bill. Seventy-three percent of Independents and 89% of Democrats also took a favorable view of the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

The survey finds that two-thirds (68%) of likely voters believe a new American energy policy will not result in job losses, with a majority believing such efforts could instead bring about job growth. Respondents were asked how “efforts to reduce global warming and promote clean energy” will impact American jobs, and more than half (51%) believe this would lead to new job creation, while another 17% believe these efforts will not affect American jobs.

Twenty-nine percent feel efforts to promote clean energy will cost American jobs. Those who believe these environmental efforts will create new American jobs outnumbered those who disagreed in all age and income groups. Among self-described political independents, 53% agreed that new jobs will be created, and only 24% thought jobs would be lost.

When presented with arguments for and against the American Clean Energy and Security Act, including concerns about the impact of the legislation on energy prices, a majority (54%) believe the Senate should now take action, with two-fifths (41%) preferring that the Senate wait.  Fifty-four percent believe the Senate should take action on the bill because “we need a new energy plan right now that invests in American, renewable energy sources like wind and solar, in order to create clean energy jobs, address global warming and reduce our dependency on foreign oil.” Forty-one percent believe that the Senate should instead wait because “the House energy bill is a hidden tax that will cost thousands of dollars every year in increased energy prices, weaken our economy further, and cause America to lose jobs to China and other countries.”

“Clearly, voters strongly favor the ideas outlined in the bill. Support for action on clean energy and energy efficiency was strong coming out of the election, and it is still strong today.  Even when presented with the concerns some have raised about the potential costs associated with this legislation, most likely voters still want the Senate to act quickly to bring about a new energy plan for America,” said Zogby International Research Analyst Sam Rodgers.

The Zogby International telephone survey of 1,005 likely voters was commissioned by the National Wildlife Federation and was conducted from July 31-August 4, 2009. The survey carries a margin of error of +/-3.2%.

The survey also shows 47% of likely voters would take a favorable view of their Congressperson if he or she voted in favor of the bill, while another 21% said it would make no difference in their opinion. Far fewer – 29% — said they would view their Congressperson unfavorably if he or she voted in support of the bill.

Regarding Congressional action on global warming, a small majority of Republicans (54%) say Congress is doing too much, but a total of 42% say it should do more or is doing the right amount. Only 26% of political independents say Congress is doing too much, while two-thirds of Democrats (65%) want more Congressional action. More than 40% of every age group also wants more from Congress when it comes to taking action to combat global warming.

“Most voters would view their member of Congress more favorably or would not have their opinion impacted either way by a “yes” vote,” said Rodgers. “This survey shows clear movement in favor of Congress taking greater action on global warming and most Americans believe this legislation would give a much-need boost to the American job market in this down economy.”


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