Posted on Oct 12, 2010 |

Only 8 Percent of Americans Want Current Fossil Fuel Subsidies

LOS ANGELES – A new nationwide poll finds only 8 percent of Americans want to continue the roughly $10 billion per a year given to fossil fuel interests by the federal government. The survey, commissioned by the cleantech PR firm Tigercomm, finds that 73 percent of Americans want half or all of these subsidies repurposed for policies that support solar and other renewables.

“Dirty energy executives and their lobbyists talk about how ‘cheap’ fossil fuels are, but they don’t want to talk about how much they’ve lived off government handouts for the last 150 years,” said Tigercomm President Mike Casey. “We should do what most Americans want and push these industries off the welfare rolls. Then we can have an honest conversation about how ‘cheap’ coal and oil really are.”

The poll found that 80 percent of Americans are unaware of how much of their tax money goes to highly profitable fossil fuel corporations, such as ExxonMobil and Massey Energy.

“Solar and other forms of renewable energy are being increasingly attacked as ‘not ready’ because of policies that promote their scaling,” Casey said. “Solar companies have a lot to gain by a stepped up, collective defense of their brand.”

“Just 8 percent is a stunningly low figure for any policy question,” said Jeff Levine, president of Gotham Research Group, who conducted the poll. “You’d have to work really hard at constructing a question to get a number that low.”

Support for solar is wide and deep among Americans of virtually every demographic and political viewpoint. The vast majority of consumers have strong positive associations with solar energy.

  • 80 percent of American adults rate “solar power” favorably (compared to 76 percent for wind power, 62 percent for natural gas, 39 percent for nuclear power, 32 percent for oil, and 29 percent for coal).
  • More than 70 percent rate solar energy as “an energy source I trust” and “safe for future generations.”
  • 74 percent believe that solar energy is a “long-term solution for the country’s energy needs.”

About the Survey’s Methodology

The Tigercomm LLC survey was conducted by Gotham Research Group between September 23 - 26, 2010. The findings and conclusions are primarily based on an analysis of a nationally representative survey of 1,013 adults, 18 years and older.

About Tigercomm

Tigercomm helps cleantech companies, advocacy organizations and government leaders tackle the big, high-stakes challenges they face in promoting clean energy and sustainability.