Public Resource

Public Opinion About the Energy Crisis: Historical & Political Context

Environmental Polling Consortium
06-17-2022

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