Most Americans Back Energy Agenda Supported by Oil and Gas, Survey Finds

Most Americans back an energy agenda that relies on domestic energy sources, including oil and natural gas, but support for the controversial Green New Deal (GND) is tepid, according to a survey released Thursday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Energy Institute (GEI).

A survey of likely 2020 voters conducted by FTI Consulting found that 73% of respondents support a "cleaner, stronger" energy agenda that uses more domestic sources of energy and continues environmental progress. Only 21% said they supported the GND.

The survey also found that 79% of respondents back streamlining or expediting the permitting process for critical energy infrastructure, including oil and gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas export facilities.

The findings appear to show strong support for President Trump's agenda of "energy dominance" that calls for expanded development of domestic energy sources and faster permitting for supporting infrastructure. They also show lukewarm support for the GND, which has been championed by Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

The survey was released in tandem with GEI's "Cleaner, Stronger" campaign, which calls for a national energy agenda focused on innovation, lower emissions and economic growth. The campaign also calls for investments in the nation's energy sector.

FTI found that 89% of voters support using domestic energy resources responsibly, while 79% agree that the best way to address climate change is through investments in innovation and technology. But only 15% of respondents think it's feasible to require all sectors of the U.S. economy to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) within 10 years. The GND calls for the United States to transition all of its power generation to renewables over a 10-year period.

"Our new survey demonstrates that voters are concerned about energy and the environment, but they are also concerned about the costs and practicality of an approach to those issues driven primarily by government regulation," said GEI Acting President Christopher Guith.

The survey found 32% of respondents were not willing to pay higher energy bills to eliminate GHG emissions within 10 years, but 50% said they would support paying less than $5 per month and 64% would support paying less than $10 per month.

"Given the current state of technology, a regulatory approach involves significant price increases,” Guith said. “Our focus is on developing technologies that can reduce environmental impacts and compete on price and reliability."

FTI conducted the telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters in the 2020 election between March 7 and March 12. The sample included 38% of respondents who identified as Democratic voters, while 36% said they were Republicans and 26% were independents.