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Most Voters Still See Finding New Energy Sources As More Important Than Conservation

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of U.S. Voters think finding new sources of energy is more important than reducing the amount of energy Americans now consume. However, that's the lowest finding since March. 

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 32% believe reducing energy consumption is more important, showing little change from August. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

It's important to note, however, that the question does not specify what form these new sources of energy take. But 60% of voters think investing in renewable energy sources like wind and solar is a better long-term investment for America than investing in fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal. Twenty-seven percent (27%) feel fossil fuels are the better long-term investment. There has been little change in these numbers since the beginning of the year.

With the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico under control and out of the news, the majority of U.S. voters continue to support both offshore and deepwater oil drilling

Forty-two percent (42%) of voters believe there is a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection, the highest finding since late May. Thirty-three percent (33%) disagree, while 25% are not sure.

Most voters (59%) continue to regard global warming as a serious issue, but that number has trended down slightly since last November when the so-called 'Climategate' scandal broke, raising questions about the research and methodology of many scientists who support the theory. Thirty-seven percent (37%) are not very concerned about global warming, if at all.

Forty-two percent (42%) say global warming is primarily caused by long-term planetary trends. Thirty-nine percent (39%) feel human activity is the main contributor. Seven percent (7%) think some other reason is chiefly to blame. Voters have been shifting away from the idea that human activity is the primary cause of global warming for well over a year.

Voters also continue to think President Obama's views abut global warming differ from their own. Fifty-one percent (51%) say Obama thinks global warming is primarily caused by human activity. Just 17% believe Obama thinks it is caused by long-term planetary trends.

But voters give the president mixed marks for his handling of energy-related issues. Forty percent (40%) rate his handling of such issues as good or excellent, right in line with sentiments a month ago. 

Nearly as many voters (39%) give him a poor rating for how he is handling energy issues.

Following a devastating explosion in a neighborhood near San Francisco that destroyed over 50 homes and killed several residents in September, 56% of Americans said they are at least somewhat concerned about the safety of the infrastructure for natural gas delivery in this country, including 22% who are Very Concerned. 


Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on October 4-5, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.



Global Warming is Primarily Caused By...

Date

Human activity

Planetary Trends

Other Reason

October 2010

39%

42%

7%

August 2010

40%

45%

7%

July 2010

34%

45%

8%

May 2010

40%

44%

5%

Apr 2010

33%

48%

11%

Mar 2010

33%

48%

8%

Feb 2010

35%

47%

8%

Jan 2010

37%

50%

5%

Dec 09

34%

50%

6%

Nov 09

37%

47%

5%

Oct 09

38%

46%

3%

Sep 09

42%

47%

5%

Jul 09

39%

47%

6%

Jun 09

42%

40%

10%

May 09

39%

44%

7%

Apr 09

34%

48%

7%

Mar 09

41%

43%

7%

Feb 09

38%

45%

7%

Jan 09

44%

41%

7%

Dec 08

43%

43%

6%

Apr 08

47%

34%

8%




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