Americans on Energy: New UT Study

Another poll shows increasing and strong interest among Americans in developing Green Technology and related technologies, as well as reduced interest in anti-environmental extremism and petrolatum-related efforts.

Previously, we discussed the new poll by the Science Debate people, and now we have new information from the UT Energy Poll.

The results are mixed, but interesting. In order of decreasing preference expressed by a voter to support a candidate for president based on their position, voters like expanded natural gas development1, incentives for renewable tech companies, increased energy research, requiring utilities to offer “renewable.” Those are all in the above 50% range.

Approval of a president who, in turn, would approve of the Keystone XL Pipeline sits at the 50% mark. Expanded Gulf drilling, oil exploration in the Arctic are below 50%. Loan guarantees for nuclear companies is at a dismal 28% and, happily, support for a theoretical presidential candidate who proposed to eliminate the EPA (remember Michele Bachmann?) is at 20% according to the poll.

The UT study is reported by Sheril Kirschenbaum, here.

Interestingly, 65% of poll respondents say global climate change is occurring and 22% that it is not. I believe that over the medium or short term, that is an increase in percentage of people who get that right, but it is still dismal.

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1I think many people believe “Natural Gas” to be good, more or less uncritically. Probably has something to do with this.

Comments

  1. #1 Bilbao
    April 11, 2012

    Everyone likes the idea of “green energy” until they see the price tag.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    April 11, 2012

    Unless you think about it more. That price tag is an investment that will pay off, and it is a job and business enhancing effect.

    As long as the damn windmills and stuff are built in the good old USA (or wherever they are erected) mostly!

  3. #3 Bilbao
    April 11, 2012

    And when you think about it even more it has the longest payback of any generating source on the market. In fact, without massive subsidies in the form of tax credits, mandatory bulk purchases of power from grid operators, loan guarantees, etctera there wouldn’t be one commercial windmill/photo voltaic/solar thermal installation on earth (well maybe a few to assuage all that liberal guilt). You could certainly say the same about nuclear, but at least we get reliable baseload generation from those.

    The jobs argument is a bit of a red herring. The purpose of the energy industry and policy to that end should be to supply low cost energy to end users and that’s about it.

  4. #4 ismek
    April 11, 2012

    evet americans energy şirketleri bencede sorumlumklarını yerine getirdmeliler. böyle bir insan sağlıklarını sonuçlarını egerji şerkelerinin düşünmesi insanlık için ismek istanbul belediyesinin kurslarından yapıtğı faliteylerine görek sağlamlamıdır. böylece american rüyasınmda son ermemelidir.

  5. #5 Bilbao
    April 11, 2012

    Moderating comments because you object to the argument is rather low, but it is your site.

  6. #6 Mark Hadfield
    April 11, 2012

    Greg, your footnote links to a collection of posts on the naturalistic fallacy. Do you mean that people are well disposed to natural gas because of the word “natural” in the name? What a jaw-dropping thought!

  7. #7 MadScientist
    April 12, 2012

    The “natural gas” gambit goes like this: (a) It’s not as dirty as that filthy coal stuff and (b) if you burn natural gas rather than coal, you emit 30% less CO2 for each unit of energy produced. LNG was marketed as a means of meeting Kyoto Protocol obligations with minimal effort; unfortunately the reality is that it’s simply not a good enough solution. One problem is that a monstrous amount of coal is used to produce energy and switching to natural gas as the fuel will jack up gas prices and cause gas shortages. Like oil, gas is getting harder to get at (though the industry still believes gas supplies will outlast oil).

  8. #8 Jim Thomerson
    April 12, 2012

    I see in today’s newspaper that there is an oversupply of natural gas. Price is very low, and storage space is running out.

  9. #9 Tlazolteotl
    April 12, 2012

    MadScientist:

    Plus, fracking!

    I’d love for there to be a huge investment in energy that did not depend on carbon. Even natural gas use releases warming gasses into the atmosphere, and I don’t think natural gas is a long term solution to the problem.

    I’ve spent my entire life distrustful of nuclear energy, but I think it might be worthwhile to build some plants with technology newer than the 1970s as a stopgap until we can get to something preferable. I don’t know what that looks like (maybe hydrogen?), but I’m very disheartened that aggressive funding to DOE or anyone else for the research required to move humans off of dependence on the carbon-hydrogen bond.

  10. #10 Tlazolteotl
    April 12, 2012

    *harrumph*!

    That should have been “I’m disheartened that there _isn’t_ aggressive funding…”

    I even previewed and everything.

  11. #11 Nemo
    April 13, 2012

    We need to rebrand “natural gas”, which is a really stupid term anyway. Let’s just call it what it is: methane. Nothing difficult about that word. Oh, but wait, “natural gas” isn’t pure methane. So: “dirty methane”.

  12. #12 Nemo
    April 13, 2012

    Tlazolteotl: Hydrogen isn’t an energy source, unless you have a working fusion reactor. It’s merely an energy transport.

    Water + energy -> hydrogen + oxygen
    Hydrogen + oxygen -> water + slightly less energy

    I’m sure you know this, but were perhaps not realizing that water would be (is) the primary source of hydrogen. It’s not like we mine it. Or, you can get it out of hydrocarbons, but that doesn’t really help.

  13. #13 Jim Thomerson
    April 14, 2012

    Looking at Science Daily, I see a fair amount of research on how the take water apart into hydrogen and oxygen. I haven’t seen any mention of study of the dark reaction; making CO2 into carbohydrate. One would think that would be the ideal way to sequester CO2; make it into cellulose and build houses out of it.

  14. #14 jdmeth
    April 18, 2012

    By definition half of the population has a below average I.Q. About ten percent of the rest are just stupid. These people are easily fooled, or lead, but they are not always right. Even if they are right about a problem they may demand the wrong solution to said problem. Reducing the worlds use of fossil fuels by the amount needed to reverse global warming will cost tens of trillions of dollars and billions, yes billions, of lives. You can’t take away an energy source without having a replacement in place. It could be done with current technology if we put forth a global war like effort and reduce ninety percent of the population to a third world existence.

    Most of the growth in fossil fuel usage is in China and India. You and what army are going to tell two and a half billion people to stop doing what they want to do? Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot found out that you have to kill most of them. I’m willing if you are.

  15. #15 Jim Thomerson
    April 18, 2012

    I saw,on TV in passing, that the Feds have OKed construction of a very large facility, on the Gulf Coast, to export natural gas. I think this is it.
    http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/articles/gas-136220-export-natural.html