By Jeff Luse
A new poll released by the Conservative Energy Network (CEN), in partnership with Public Opinion Strategies, has found increased support among voters for conservative, pro-market solutions to energy and climate challenges.
More than 60% of respondents polled said that they preferred approaches that allowed markets and businesses to provide more clean energy production. Specifically, voters were in favor of policies that cut regulations and emphasized renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades.
On these findings, CEN president Mark Pischea said that while voters generally like lofty liberal ideals, “they prefer Republican policy solutions.”
While voters prefer conservative solutions, they do not believe the Republican party is doing a good job with energy and environment issues. When asked which party does a better job of handling issues of the environment, clean energy, energy generally, and climate change, voters overwhelmingly said the Democratic party.
The survey also brought to light attitudes of voters about different energy sources. When asked which energy sources the United States should prioritize, respondents were mostly in favor of solar, hydropower, wind, and natural gas, respectively.
Although Americans said that they preferred a diverse energy portfolio, only 34% of respondents stated that the country should prioritize nuclear energy more. Nuclear power continues to face an unfair stigma despite it being safe, reliable, and our largest source of clean energy.
In terms of climate change, nearly 90% of voters stated that they believe it to be a threat, with a majority saying that the GOP is not doing enough to address it. Unsurprisingly, however, respondents said that they favored small-government solutions to tackle climate change. These solutions include investing more into research and development and improving market structures to allow clean energy to more fairly compete. A small minority (11%) showed favor toward increased regulation and government mandates to address climate change.
This poll provides a blueprint for energy and climate policy going forward. While the Republican Party remains unpopular in how they address these issues, voters overwhelmingly favor small-government and free market solutions.
Instead of continuing to stigmatize clean energy and climate change, conservatives must double down on the issue and begin to offer solutions of their own. Solutions that include free-market competition, innovation, deregulation, and advancing clean energy technologies will undoubtably win over the American people.
Access the polling data here.