Monday, May 31, 2021

How Green Is the Public?

There's no doubt there's a lot of support in the public for expanding the use of renewable energy and generally moving in a "green" direction, especially among younger generations. But that does not mean the public is sold on complete reliance on wind and solar. Consider these results from a new Pew poll. One question asked:
Right now, which ONE of the following do you think should be the more important priority for addressing America’s energy supply? Developing alternative sources, such as wind, solar and hydrogen technology or Expanding exploration and production of oil, coal and natural gas.
By 71-27, the public backed developing alternative, clean energy sources over expanded fossil fuel production.
But, Pew also asked:
Thinking about the country’s energy supply, do you think the U.S. should… Phase out the use of oil, coal and natural gas completely, relying instead on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power only or Use a mix of energy sources including oil, coal and natural gas along with renewable energy sources.
On this question, the public backed using a mix of energy sources over renewable reliance by 64-33. Interestingly, the response among the younger Gen Z and Millennial generations still favored using a mix of energy sources (chart below).
Such are the complexities of public opinion on this issue. An abrupt transition away from fossil fuels, besides being substantively very difficult, would not sit well with a public that is green but not *that* green.
May be an image of text that says 'U.S. should phase out use of fossil fuels U.S. adults Use a mix of fossil fuels and renewables 33 Gen z 43 64 53 Millennial 42 56 32 Gen X Boomer & older 25 66 72'

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