Americans are cynical about energy companies’ control over pricing, think government is failing on energy issues, and believe the environment should take a backseat in energy concerns that spur economic growth.
Overall, Americans think the country is on a bad path when it comes to energy. More than 43 percent said the nation is heading in the wrong direction in dealing with energy issues. Just 14 percent we’re heading in the right direction.
The nationally representative survey of 3,400 adults was developed by the Energy Management and Innovation Center at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business and its results were released this week.
Americans praised their own households’ handling of energy issues, but thought government and big businesses are falling far short on their responsibilities. Among the respondents, 71 percent said they were dissatisfied with how congress has addressed energy concerns and 54 percent were critical of President Obama on the issue. Oil and gas companies, the Sierra Club and the U.S. Department of Energy all fell to the bottom of the pack, too.
Yet, 57 percent said they were satisfied with how they’ve handled energy in their own homes.
“This survey shows that the public craves leadership on energy issues,” said UT-Austin President Bill Powers in a written statement.
When asked to identify the most powerful factor in the cost of energy, Americans pointed to energy companies and utilities. Thirty-six percent of the respondents said energy businesses have primary control over the price of energy. By comparison, 21 percent said global politics made the biggest impact and 18 percent pointed to government regulations. Just 15 percent said consumer demand was the biggest factor.
In energy policies, respondents gave economic growth greater importance than environmental concerns, a result the researchers linked to atough economy. While 37 percent responded that economic growth should be given priority, 33 percent gave more weight to environmental concerns. The rest believed the issues should be balanced.
- Energy poll: Americans fret about Congress, foreign oil (content.usatoday.com)
- Is Germany’s Green Energy Plan Failing? (environmenteng.wordpress.com)
- Poll: 81 percent dissatisfied with nation’s governance (thehill.com)