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Wyoming voters have positive attitudes about fossil fuels but are open to mitigating their impact with carbon removal sites in the state. Wyoming voters express the most favorable views toward traditional energy sources like natural gas (91 percent favorable), oil (84 percent favorable), and coal (78 percent favorable). Nuclear energy (71 percent favorable) enjoys roughly the same favorability as solar energy (69 percent favorable), while wind energy lags relatively behind (52 percent favorable). Notably, several respondents express very strong negative sentiments toward wind turbines — especially regarding their appearance — in an open-ended prompt regarding any additional views toward alternative energy sources. Wyoming voters are open-minded about carbon removal. After reading a brief description, Wyoming voters support building CDR sites in the state by a +50-point margin. There is broad support across party lines from majorities of Democrats (84 percent), Independents (69 percent), and Republicans (65 percent).
Voters still know little about the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Less than half know that the bill was passed and only around one-third know that it will boost clean energy. Far fewer than 50% of voters know that each policy component of the IRA is indeed in the bill. Only about 24% of voters have seen a political advertisement that mentions the IRA.
Most young adults in Europe want to be involved in action to tackle climate change and have little faith in current leaders to take significant climate action. Survey results show that almost one in 10 respondents said they would be prepared to break the law to tackle climate change. A large majority (81%) agreed that we need a social transformation – changing our economy, how we travel, live, produce and consume – in order to tackle climate change. However, there were also some contradictions and gaps in their understanding of the issue: most did not draw a connection between someone’s gender or racialization and their likelihood of being impacted by climate change. Smaller “workshop” conversations showed concerned young adults: agree that climate change is a systemic problem but may struggle to know what the solutions are and to see themselves in them; think that the status quo isn’t working and want to see big changes, but frequently feel powerless to bring this about; care about social justice issues like racism and sexism, but don’t readily connect them to climate change; think responsibility lies at the top but don’t believe their government will do the right thing; want more balance in who has power and voice, but don’t like language about taking power or resources away from anyone; see that climate change has roots in the past but many want to look forward rather than back; believe some actors are more culpable than others but often raised questions about the theory and reality of paying compensation for loss and damages resulting from climate change.
This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including new polling on the obstacles to climate action and proposed solutions; a battleground state poll about oil and gas companies’ role in spiking energy prices; new polling on the SITE Act and expansion of the U.S. electric grid; and a study analyzing the impact of messaging about the scientific consensus on climate change.
Poll: Senator Whitehouse: To Unlock the Full Potential of the IRA, We Need to Make It Easier to Build Electricity Transmission Lines
Voters want to see the U.S. electric grid expanded, and widely support the SITE Act after learning about it. 74% of all voters believe it’s urgent to develop new energy infrastructure in the U.S. 74% support expediting the permitting process for power lines. 71% support the SITE Act after reading about it, which would expedite the permitting process. 55% of voter support giving the federal government more authority over interstate power lines.
Swing state voters overwhelmingly support policies to hold energy companies accountable for price spikes amid record oil and gas profits. 78% of battleground state voters support Congress passing new laws to “hold energy companies accountable” for spikes in gas and home heating and cooling prices that have led to record profits for those companies.
The clear majority of Americans say that the country is doing too little to address climate change, and people assign the most blame to corporate America. 69% of Americans support providing consumer rebates for more efficient home appliances. 65% of Americans support providing tax credits for the installation of solar panels. Nearly three-quarters of Americans (74%) recognize that climate change is happening, while just 8% deny it. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) recognize that climate change is caused mostly or entirely by human activities. 66% of Americans want to expand solar panel farms in the U.S. and 59% want to expand offshore wind farms. 64% of Americans support reducing the amount of greenhouse gases that companies are allowed to emit. 62% of Americans say the United States is doing “too little” to reduce climate change.
Climate change is among Latinos' leading concerns heading into the 2022 midterm elections. 25% of Latinos polled said it was one of the most worrying issues, up from the 18% who said the same in June. 38% said they believe the Democratic Party is good on climate and energy issues, while 10% said the same about the Republican Party. About 24% said neither party is good on the issues.
Voters continue to blame oil and gas companies most for high gas prices. Few put blame on environmental policies. Voters support the Inflation Reduction Act by a 64%-27% margin after reading a brief, one-sentence description of it. Voters are more likely to rank oil and gas companies among the biggest causes of high gas prices than Putin/Russia, Biden/Democrats, Republicans, or environmental policies.
Climate change ranks among the top issue priorities for Latinos, and the majority support the Inflation Reduction Act. Latinos support the Inflation Reduction Act by a 62%-32% margin after reading a brief description of it. More Latinos name climate change as one of the national issues that is “most worrying” to them than any other issue besides inflation, crime/gun violence, and immigration.