Poll Shows Meager Support for Energy Bill

As congress prepares to vote on a proposed Energy Bill, a majority says Congress should not approve the proposed Energy Bill, a new Zogby poll revealed. More than three of four voters support investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. A majority of likely voters (55 percent) feel it would be better if Congress did not pass this particular bill, knowing what the legislation contains, according to the poll. Just one in five (21 percent) feels it is very important that Congress pass this bill as soon as possible.

Utica, New York – November 17, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The poll by Zogby International, conducted for The Wilderness Society, involved 1,003 likely voters chosen at random nationwide from November 5-7, 2003 and has an error margin of +/- 3.2 percentage points. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, and gender to more accurately reflect the voting population. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest percent and might not total 100. The poll asked… “If you knew that the energy bill Congress is considering exempts energy companies from key parts of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, makes it easier for oil and gas companies to drill on public lands, and gives up to 20 billion dollars in subsidies and tax breaks to the oil, gas, nuclear, and coal industries, which of the following most closely reflects your opinion about such a bill?” It would be better if Congress did not pass this bill at all. —— 55 percent It is very important that Congress pass this bill as soon as possible. ——— 21 It doesn’t matter much either way.—-16 percent Not sure. — 8 percent A majority or plurality within every sub-group says it would be better if Congress did not pass this bill at all. This includes nearly two-thirds of both Democrats (64 percent) and Independent voters (66 percent), while even among Republicans only about one-third (35 percent) say Congress should pass this bill as soon as possible. There is little support for this Energy bill among residents of the East (15 percent) and Great Lakes (21 percent) regions, despite being hit by the electricity blackout in August. By contrast, improving energy efficiency and expanding the development of alternative energy sources like wind and solar, are, by far, more popular than trying to increase oil and gas supplies. The poll asked… Which of the following do you think is the best way to address the nation’s energy needs? Use energy more efficiently and develop more fuel-efficient cars and trucks so we use less oil. ——- 40 percent Expand development of alternative forms of energy like wind and solar power. — 37 percent Drill for more oil and gas in the US to increase our energy supply. —-16 percent Get our oil-producing allies in other countries to send us more oil. —-2 percent Other — 2 percent Not sure — 3 percent Two in five would opt for using energy more efficiently and developing more fuel-efficient cars and trucks to use less oil (40 percent). Nearly as many say the US should expand development of alternative forms of energy like wind and solar power (37 percent). Overwhelming majorities of Democrats (82 percent), Independents (80 percent), and even Republicans (70 percent) say that investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources is preferable to drilling for more oil and gas in the U.S. Similarly strong majorities exist in every region of the country and among all age, race, education and income categories.
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