A growing percentage of U.S. voters favor increased commitment to alternative energy. The Lazard Alternative Energy Poll, includes a broad sampling of U.S. voter attitudes regarding energy issues and policies.
Selected highlights from the poll include:
- 70% of likely voters in 2016 believe it is “most important” for America to transition toward a cleaner, more energy-efficient economy, up from 57% in 2012. Only 10% in 2016 believe it is “not important,” compared to 27% in 2012.
- 70% of likely voters in 2016 support legislation that requires energy companies to generate 15% of their power from alternative energy sources over the next several years, up from 60% of voters in 2012.
- Despite widespread enthusiasm for alternative energy, 75% of likely voters in 2016 believe that a combination of alternative with more traditional sources of energy is necessary to move toward a more energy-efficient economy. However, this percentage is down from 89% in 2012.
- Although the majority of likely voters still support natural gas as a clean energy source, popular support has weakened, probably because of its connection with shale gas, or fracking. 76% of likely voters in 2016 support expanding the use of natural gas, down from 91% in 2012. 42% of likely voters in 2016 support fracking, down from 50% in 2012.
- Popular support has also weakened for nuclear energy: 50% of likely voters in 2016 support the use of nuclear energy as one of the ways to provide electricity in the U.S., down from 61% in 2012.
- The poll surveyed “opinion leaders” in addition to likely voters. Among opinion leaders, 76% favor the offering of grants and tax incentives to help energy companies increase their production of cleaner, alternate energy.