Amid Gulf Coast Oil Disaster, Public Support for Clean Energy Legislation is Strong

Benenson strategy group logo As a follow-up to the May 6th post, The Big Oil Spill: is it enough to change consumer behavior? by Suzanne Shelton, here's another poll which illustrates how the oil spill has impacted public opinion. The poll, by the Benenson Strategy Group showed that 61% of voters support a bill, "that will limit pollution, invest in domestic energy sources and
encourage companies to use and develop clean energy. It would do this in
part by charging energy companies for carbon pollution in electricity
or fuels like oil."

As Gulf Coast oil catastrophe continues to unfold, the Clean Energy
Works campaign released a new poll by the Benenson Strategy Group today
showing overwhelming public support for comprehensive clean energy
legislation. The poll also found that the public is more likely to blame
Congress for the oil spill than lobbyists or corporations. And,
comprehensive clean energy legislation is likely to be an important
electoral issue.

These findings come as Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman are
expected to unveil new legislative text for a comprehensive clean energy
and climate bill this week.

Among the topline findings of the poll are:

  • Overall, 61% of 2010 voters support and just 31%
    oppose a bill "that will limit pollution, invest in domestic energy
    sources and encourage companies to use and develop clean energy. It
    would do this in part by charging energy companies for carbon pollution
    in electricity or fuels like oil."
  • When asked who they blame for our dependence on oil, voters
    are more likely to blame Washington politicians
    who are
    protecting special interests that fund their campaigns (33%) than big
    oil companies and lobbyists trying to protect their profits (27%).
  • 54% of respondents said they would be more likely to
    re-elect their Senator
    if he or she voted for the bill (just
    30% would be less likely to re-elect). And, 51% would be less likely to
    re-elect their Senator if he or she voted against the bill (just 30%
    would be more likely).
  • By almost two-to-one, voters agree that now is the time for
    Senators to act:

    • 59% of voters agree that "Now is the time for
      Senators to take action. Oil companies and lobbyists have fought energy
      reform for decades to protect their profits. Our dependence on oil hurts
      our economy, helps our enemies and puts our security at risk. It's time
      to put America back in control – with clean energy that's made in
      America and works for America."

The poll was conducted nationally between May 4 – 5, 2010 among 650
registered voters.

You can see additional findings from the poll here.

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