WindmillsMore Americans support clean energy and carbon reduction policies than oppose it.

The drumbeat of public support for comprehensive clean energy and global warming policies beats louder every day. The latest Wall Street Journal-NBC Poll [PDF] found overwhelming support for comprehensive clean energy legislation that includes carbon pollution reductions. It also registered that cleaning up the BP oil disaster and energy reform is the number two priority of Americans. Finally, it registered another drop in support for the expansion of offshore oil drilling.

CAP’s Daniel J. Weiss has the details:

The WSJ-NBC poll was conducted by respected pollsters Bill McInturff (R) and Peter Hart (D). McInturff was John McCain’s presidential pollster in 2008. The survey was conducted June 17-21, 2010 — after President Obama’s Oval Office address on the oil catastrophe and clean energy reform. There were 1,000 respondents, and the margin of error was plus or minus 3 percent.

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Respondents favored comprehensive energy and carbon pollution reduction legislation by 63 percent to 31 percent — a two to one margin.

Do you support or oppose an energy proposal designed to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, even if it means an increase in the cost of energy? (IF SUPPORT/OPPOSE, THEN ASK) And, do you strongly (support/oppose) or just somewhat (support/oppose) this?

Strongly support

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Somewhat support


Somewhat oppose


Strongly oppose


Not Sure


Significantly, strong support for this legislation was double the strong opposition.

The reality of the BP oil disaster has likely led to far greater concerns about energy policy now than they were last month. When given a list of issues “that have been proposed for the federal government to address,” Americans expressed the second most concern about the “Gulf Coast oil spill and energy,” trailing only “job creation and economic growth.”

Job creation and economic growth


The Gulf Coast oil spill and energy


The deficit and government spending


National security and terrorism


The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan


Health care


Social issues such as abortion and same sex



Other (VOL)


All equally (VOL)


Americans are increasingly skeptical about offshore oil drilling. In both May and June polls, respondents were asked

When it comes to oil drilling off U.S. coasts, which of the following statements comes closer to your point of view?

Statement A: The potential harm to the environment outweighs the potential benefits to the economy.

Statement B: The potential benefits to the economy outweigh the potential harm to the environment.

The results show a 14 percent drop in support for offshore oil drilling in just a single month. This is big swing of public opinion.




A/ Harm to environment outweighs economy



B/ Benefits to the economy outweighs environment



A little of both (VOL)



Not sure



As Senate Democrats gather this afternoon to discuss energy and climate policies, they should remember that Americans strongly support action. This is evident in poll after poll that conclusively demonstrate that Americans want comprehensive energy reform that includes real reductions of global warming pollution. This is true even when respondents are told that it would cost jobs or increase energy prices. With such a supportive public, it’s time for senators still hiding in the shadows to come into the sunlight and support comprehensive reform. The American people are with you.