Despite relentless advertising by the fossil fuel industry aimed at winning the public's support, we've seen poll after poll showing that the American people consistently, and strongly, prefer a clean energy future. Well, we can add yet another one to that list.
Yesterday, Pew Research released new poll research that re-confirms the trend. When asked to choose between developing “alternative sources such as wind, solar and hydrogen” and expanding “exploration and production of oil, coal and natural” gas as their preferred priority for addressing America’s energy needs, 54 percent of Americans went with alternative energy. Only 34 percent chose continued prioritization of fossil fuels. That’s a drop from the 63 percent high in 2011, but an uptick over the 52 percent response last year.
Furthermore, Independents and Democrats were largely in concert, preferring alternative energy sources by 64 and 59 percent, respectively. Only 33 percent of Republicans went with solar and wind, in contrast to the 54 percent who preferred expanded fossil fuel use. But the distance between the two positions within the Republican group was smaller than the distance in the other two collections of voters.
It's clear that the American people want to move forward on clean energy, and to move beyond fossil energy sources. The question is, when will America's politicians enact policies that reflect that choice?