The Skywriter

Poll: 64% of Americans reject Big Oil & Dirty Coal

9
Jun

Poll: 64% of Americans reject Big Oil & Dirty Coal

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Now that the true cost of our fossil fuel addiction has become appallingly clear over the last seven weeks, the need for action is beginning to sink in with the American people.

A poll released yesterday (.pdf) by the well-regarded Benenson Strategy Group (best known as Barack Obama’s pollsters) makes that quite clear. Their numbers show a growing trend in favor of strong action on moving America out of the clutches of Big Oil and into the clean energy economy.

The biggest news of the poll showed that support for real action on clean energy, even in the face of harsh and distorting negative attacks (the poll “tested” Big Oil and Dirty Coal attacks by basically referring to any moves away from fossil fuel dependence as “job killing energy taxes," among other descriptions), is extremely strong. In fact, 64% of likely voters this fall support taking action, with only 25% opposing it.

The poll also shows growing numbers of Americans believe that increased investment in clean energy sources should be a priority; in fact, 65% of likely voters want additional investments in clean energy. And, in what should be a key lesson for the fall elections, 62% of currently undecided voters support a bill to limit climate change pollution and invest in domestic sources of clean energy.

The question, of course, is whether our politicians will be prescient enough to read these and other signs that the ground has shifted beneath our feet in large part due to the tragedy in the Gulf.

The Benenson poll shows that we are living in a very different world then we were three weeks ago. Suddenly, the true cost of our fossil fuel addiction is not simply an abstract notion in our heads of worst case scenarios in coming decades. The true cost is real and confronting us every time we open a browser window, turn on the TV, or flip through the newspaper. The American public is watching this on a daily basis and watching our seeming inability to do anything about it: They are fed up and want real action.

This poll shows that any politician who is bold enough right now to take that action, to turn one of our biggest tragedies in recent memory into something that, at the very least, will make us a stronger nation in the years to come, will be rewarded at the polls.

But is anyone in the Senate bold enough to make that happen? Stay tuned … (and place a call today to tell your senators to vote down the shameful attacks on the Clean Air Act and vote for real action to stop carbon pollution and invest in the clean energy future).

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