Briefly

Stuff that matters

you're toxic

John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Roses are red, violets are blue, America to coal: I might dump you.

A new survey from the National Surveys on Energy and Environment shows rising public support for ditching coal.

In 2008, America got roughly half of its electricity from coal. A decade later, the public has grown more hostile toward the dirty energy source, even while its support for natural gas hasn’t wavered much.

But the country’s toxic relationship with coal isn’t over: The survey, which sampled random U.S. adults over the phone, shows a majority of the public is “not yet ready for a complete phase-out.” Break-ups are hard, we get it.

More from the survey:

  • In 2017, 48 percent of those surveyed supported a coal phase-out.
  • Opinions differed along party lines: 30 percent of Republicans support a phase-out, while 54 percent of independents and 56 percent of Democrats do.
  • Only 34 percent opposed phasing out the dirty fuel — a big jump from a year earlier, when 50 percent opposed doing so.
  • People who live in coal mine states are more likely to strongly oppose a coal phase-out.

Whether you’re on Team Coal or Team … Not Coal, the important thing to keep in mind is that coal has a prettier, smarter, and healthier alternative: renewable energy.