Americans Look to Traditional Energy When Gas Prices Rise

Americans Look to Traditional Energy When Gas Prices Rise

While development of alternative energy sources remains a higher priority than increasing production of fossil fuels, results of a new Pew poll show the gap has narrowed by double-digit percentages since a year ago.

The poll found that 52 percent—of the 1,503 U.S. adults surveyed—say it is more important to develop alternative energy sources than to expand the exploration and production of traditional sources when addressing the nation's energy supply. Last year, 63 percent of the people surveyed placed more importance on alternative sources, such as solar, wind and hydrogen technology.

The survey, performed by non-partisan public research organization, found "large partisan differences" in the different energy sources, such as:

  • 89 percent of Republicans support granting more offshore oil and gas drilling, while only half of Democrats agree.
  • Republicans are more likely to favor tax cuts to energy companies for oil and gas exploration and support the increased use of nuclear power.
  • 81 percent of Democrats approve funding alternative energy versus 52 percent of Republicans.

Up until April 2009, there was almost no partisan difference regarding federal funding for alternative energy research.

Nearly two years after the 2010 Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, support for offshore drilling in U.S. waters has finally returned to pre-spill levels of 65 percent, up from 44 percent in June 2010.

According to the survey, 63 percent of the public was familiar with the term "hydraulic fracturing," of which:

  • 52 percent favor it
  • 35 percent oppose it
  • 13 percent have no opinion

Although the study found limited variation across regions, 36 percent in the Northeast heard more about fracking compared to the 23 percent in the rest of the country.

Read the full Pew Research Center, "As Gas Prices Pinch, Support for Oil and Gas Production Grows," report for detailed findings on the public's energy priorities.

Poll: Support for O&G Production Up as Gas Prices Rise



Traditional vs. Alternative Energy

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Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
Richard F | Mar. 27, 2012
Alternative energy is great. However, there is a responsibility to the country and its people. We have a tremendous amount of oil in this country and we are not utilizing it to its full capacity. On the other hand we don't have a full capacity of alternative energy projects in the system and one should over time start to combine the two and eventually over time to replace. The financial world at this time cannot afford to be gambling with the peoples money and should be utilizing the oil to fullest capacity. Speculation should be a market driven program, not at the expense of the people. The market over time will tell us what energy is best. Nothing different than the computer age of technology.

Ivan | Mar. 26, 2012
For the USA the issue about alternative sources is of great interest but not for all the countries. The USA doesn't develop their own fields and most part of resources are being bought. When the world loses all common sources (oil,gas) the USA will start developing their fields. Its clear and its rather reasonable way to save oil and gas. Now they develop other sources of energy and do it well.I believe that we have resources for more than 100 years period.

Barbara Saunders | Mar. 25, 2012
Ditto Mike and well put. Why does it have to be a partisan issue?

Mike Cloud | Mar. 22, 2012
What if these "alternative energy sources" don't work out? We're stuck with nothing. The future will require all forms of energy in order to meet growing demand. Its not "either/or".


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