Public Resource

Public Opinion About the Energy Crisis: Historical & Political Context

Environmental Polling Consortium

This deck, created by the Environmental Polling Consortium, draws from two decades of public polling to provide historical and political context to Americans' attitudes about the current energy crisis.

  • Americans' concerns about the availability and affordability of energy are on par with previous 21st century peaks, with a recent increase driven by Republican partisans
  • Americans still view environmental protection as more important than developing energy from fossil fuels, but the margin is tightening against us
  • The debate between environmental protection and fossil fuel development similarly shifted against us early in President Obama's first term
  • The oil and gas industry is consistently unpopular, and views of it have grown more negative as gas prices have risen
  • Republican partisans' shift toward supporting fossil fuels goes back to the start of President Biden's presidency; while the energy crisis may be exacerbating it, this trend began before the current spike in gas prices
  • Majorities of Republicans still support increasing wind and solar production