A majority of likely voters – 71% – favors the American Clean Energy and Security Act recently passed by the House of Representatives, and two-thirds (67%) believe Congress is either doing the right amount (22%) or should be doing more (45%) to address global warming, new Zogby International telephone poll shows.  Just 28% believe that Congress is doing too much.

Respondents were read the following statement regarding the American Clean Energy and Security Act:

“The House of Representatives recently passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which would require electric power companies to generate 20 percent of their power from clean, renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, by the year 2020.  Also included is a global warming plan which would reduce greenhouse gases from sources like power plants and factories by 17 percent, and an energy efficiency plan which includes new appliance standards and building codes to conserve energy.”

Favorable views for the bill were high among all age and income groups and even among Republicans, with 45% having a favorable view of the bill. Seventy-three percent of Independents and 89% of Democrats also took a favorable view of the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

The survey finds that two-thirds (68%) of likely voters believe a new American energy policy will not result in job losses, with a majority believing such efforts could instead bring about job growth. Respondents were asked how “efforts to reduce global warming and promote clean energy” will impact American jobs, and more than half (51%) believe this would lead to new job creation, while another 17% believe these efforts will not affect American jobs. Twenty-nine percent feel efforts to promote clean energy will cost American jobs. Those who believe these environmental efforts will create new American jobs outnumbered those who disagreed in all age and income groups. Among self-described political independents, 53% agreed that new jobs will be created, and only 24% thought jobs would be lost.

When presented with arguments for and against the American Clean Energy and Security Act, including concerns about the impact of the legislation on energy prices, a majority (54%) believe the Senate should now take action, with two-fifths (41%) preferring that the Senate wait.  Fifty-four percent believe the Senate should take action on the bill because “we need a new energy plan right now that invests in American, renewable energy sources like wind and solar, in order to create clean energy jobs, address global warming and reduce our dependency on foreign oil.” Forty-one percent believe that the Senate should instead wait because “the House energy bill is a hidden tax that will cost thousands of dollars every year in increased energy prices, weaken our economy further, and cause America to lose jobs to China and other countries.”

“Clearly, voters strongly favor the ideas outlined in the bill. Support for action on clean energy and energy efficiency was strong coming out of the election, and it is still strong today.  Even when presented with the concerns some have raised about the potential costs associated with this legislation, most likely voters still want the Senate to act quickly to bring about a new energy plan for America,” said Zogby International Research Analyst Sam Rodgers.

The Zogby International telephone survey of 1,005 likely voters was commissioned by the National Wildlife Federation and was conducted from July 31-August 4, 2009. The survey carries a margin of error of +/-3.2%.

The survey also shows 47% of likely voters would take a favorable view of their Congressperson if he or she voted in favor of the bill, while another 21% said it would make no difference in their opinion. Far fewer – 29% — said they would view their Congressperson unfavorably if he or she voted in support of the bill.

Regarding Congressional action on global warming, a small majority of Republicans (54%) say Congress is doing too much, but a total of 42% say it should do more or is doing the right amount. Only 26% of political independents say Congress is doing too much, while two-thirds of Democrats (65%) want more Congressional action. More than 40% of every age group also wants more from Congress when it comes to taking action to combat global warming.

“Most voters would view their member of Congress more favorably or would not have their opinion impacted either way by a “yes” vote,” said Rodgers. “This survey shows clear movement in favor of Congress taking greater action on global warming and most Americans believe this legislation would give a much-need boost to the American job market in this down economy.”

© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine, Monster.com, About.com Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine, HR.com, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.

  • Randy Dutton

    Extremely BAD legislation and poorly crafted. Focus is on 1st gen ethanol (a corrosive solvent with numerous health and environmental problems) and not on 3rd gen biofuels that don’t have such problems. Bill puts biomass fuel stock off limits if in Fed forests which would otherwise benefit rural communities, and convert down wood directly from biomass to CO2 instead of rotting to CH4 (25X worse than CO2). Further, it doesn’t discuss the problems with hydrogen which combines with hydroxyls in the atmosphere, thus increasing free-methane concentration. Also, CO2 isn’t the problem. Earth has lost 94% of atmospheric CO2 in past 540 million years. If we drop it down to 97%, most life on Earth dies from starvation. But Congress isn’t known for thinking about the big picture. The currenly increased CO2 from 280 to 380 ppm has raised crop production about 30% over the past 200 years. IF you reduce it, we lose the ag increase. Rather, we should concentrate on reducing methane release, and the 40 billion pounds / year of aerosol pollution emitted by E. Asia. Carbon Trading is a means of controlling life on Earth. It’s political, not science.

  • Randy Dutton

    Fed regulations make micro-hydro projects difficult to pursue. Often the studies cost as much as the infrastructure and installation, and can take 5 years. Want smart, clean energy? Simplify the process to implement local power projects to just a few months. The environmentalists generally are the ones blocking clean technology. Once being able to claim the high road, they now are the ones claiming views, birds, fish, clams might be affected. NIMBY now is their slogan. They don’t really want to compromise anything to get want they originally proposed.

    And environmentalists are the ones who have forced America to store radioactive waste in over 1000 less protected sites, rather than a single repository. The prevailing thought is that they WANT an accident to occur so that they will have an issue to point to so as to demonize all nuclear power. This isn’t so far fetched. My journailst wife, was commissioned by Sierra Magazine to write about nuclear vitrification (glassification of nuclear waste). When ALL the sources were either positive or neutral (including Earth First, and Sierra Club’s own experts), they killed the article because “It is editorial policy NOT to run any article that puts a positive light on nuclear energy” – Managing Editor Sierra Magazine. There is no objectivity to the environmental movement.

  • John Rudy

    @Randy Dutton – Type your comment here…
    You are funny! We increased agricultural production because of higher CO2 in the atmosphere? I understand that it was because of the use of high-yielding varieties, which need more water, fertilizer and pesticides (which all come from oil or natural gas one way or another). CO2 increase has no measurable effect on crop yields at this stage. At least none reported by scientists.

    Are you a religious person? I suspect you probably are. You have very strong conviction and zero facts, which is typical of fanatics : )