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Americans Prefer Energy Conservation, Don’t See a Crisis Yet

Americans prefer conservation efforts to curb energy problems, rather than new policies favoring development, latest Gallup study shows.

Thirty-one percent of Americans described the nation’s energy situation as “very serious,” while 59 percent called it “fairly serious.” Nine percent discarded the problem entirely.
The study, conducted in the beginning of March, also found that Americans differ from the new administration in their preferred approach to solving the nation’s energy woes. The poll suggests 56 percent of Americans choose conservation over production of domestic energy supplies.
Fifty-six percent of Americans oppose the Bush-approved opening of Alaska Arctic Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling, while 40 percent of those surveyed favor it. At the same time, roughly three out of five Americans (58 percent) expect Bush to do a good job improving the nation’s energy policies, and only 35 percent anticipate a fair or poor job.
Only 35 percent of the public is in favor of setting legal limits on the amount of energy average consumers can use. Nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose such limits.
However, 74 percent of those surveyed would be willing to pay $100 in higher energy costs per year if it meant increased efforts by business and industry to reduce air pollution. Almost two-thirds of the nation (63 percent) claimed they would be willing to pay $500 more per year for this purpose.
The majority of Americans are in favor of more government spending to develop solar and wind power.
These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,060 adults, 18 years and older.