Poll Finds Americans Split On Domestic Energy

December 2012, Vol. 239 No. 12

A new poll finds Americans deeply divided on whether they believe the nation is on the right track regarding domestic energy policy. A plurality believes the government must lead the way in adopting domestic energy sources. Harris Interactive, a worldwide market research firm, conducted the poll among more than 1,000 adults that was commissioned by the Propane Education & Research Council.

The survey, “Energy Habits, Awareness & Perceptions,” found 45% of Americans believe the U.S. is headed in the right direction for finding domestic energy sources; 43% believe the direction is wrong.

There is agreement that domestic energy must be addressed. Overall, the poll found:
* 78% want political leaders to work on policy promoting domestic energy sources.
* The most widely cited rationale for pursuing domestic energy sources, among the 93% considering it important to do so, was energy security (85%), followed by job creation and economic security (84 percent) and lower prices at the pump (72%).
* A strong plurality (39%) of Americans believe the government, rather than consumers (20%), corporations (18%) or small businesses (14%), should lead the nation in adopting domestic sources of energy.
Environmental aspects of energy are also a concern:
* Most respondents identify support of new environmentally friendly energy technology/products (74%) and infrastructure (73%) as topics they would like to see political leadership address in the coming year.
* Increasingly, Americans are bringing this environmental awareness into their own purchase decisions, as 61% say they have bought more environmentally friendly products this year than they did five years ago.