Voters Prefer an Increase in Domestic Production to Create New JobsApril 26, 2011
In a time of continuing concern over job creation and rising gas prices, voters are more inclined to believe that too many federal government regulations are more harmful than helpful; that the U.S. government should be developing our own energy resources offshore rather than subsidizing Brazil to develop its offshore energy supply; and despite the widespread coverage of the nuclear plant disaster in Fukushima, Japan, continue to support more domestic nuclear energy.
Despite the problems of the Fukushima plant in Japan, voters still support the development of nuclear power in the United States. In last June’s Resurgent Republic survey, we found support for loan guarantees for nuclear power plants and opening the Yucca Mountain storage facility for nuclear waste by a 52 to 39 percent margin. This year we included a wording change to acknowledge the current situation in Japan:
Congressman A says that Japan proves there are too many unanswered questions about the safety of nuclear power, such as dealing with natural disasters and disposing of nuclear waste. The government should not encourage the building of more nuclear power plants in the U.S.
Congressman B says nuclear power provides a proven source of safe, affordable, low-carbon energy, which is why some countries rely on it for 80 percent of their electricity. We should provide loan guarantees to stimulate the construction of more nuclear plants in the U.S.
Voters agree with Congressman B by a 50 to 43 percent margin overall now, including a 59 to 34 percent margin among Republicans and a 49 to 45 percent margin among Independents. Democrats agree with Congressman A by a 51 to 41 percent margin.
Voters oppose helping Brazil develop its oil reserves while we have a moratorium on offshore exploration in the United States, preferring instead to develop energy supplies and good jobs here.
Congressman A says we should assist countries like Brazil with technology and support to safely develop oil reserves. By becoming one of Brazil’s best customers, we will develop a strategic energy partnership and increase secure energy supplies coming into the United States instead of depending on oil from the Middle East.
Congressman B says we should not send taxpayer dollars to Brazil so they can increase offshore drilling while there is a moratorium on offshore exploration and drilling in this country. Instead of becoming more dependent on foreign oil, the United States should develop our own energy supplies and create good paying jobs at home.
Voters agree with the second statement by a wide 76 to 18 percent margin, including a 68 to 24 percent margin even among Democrats (82 to 15 percent among Republicans and 80 to 16 percent among Independents).
Voters split almost evenly on whether the Environmental Protection Agency should regulate carbon without a law being passed by Congress.
Congressman A says the Environmental Protection Agency should regulate carbon pollution, even without direct congressional approval. The scientific consensus is overwhelming that carbon pollution harms the environment, and the EPA has the responsibility to protect our environment from all known threats.
Congressman B says the Environmental Protection Agency should not regulate carbon without a law being passed by Congress. The EPA does not have the authority to establish new regulations that could dramatically drive up our energy costs without congressional approval.
By a narrow 49 to 46 percent margin, voters agree with Congressman B that the EPA does not have the authority to regulate carbon without Congress passing a law allowing it. Republicans overwhelmingly support Congressman B's argument by 65 to 30 percent, and Independents do so narrowly by 50 to 45 percent. Democrats believe the EPA should regulate carbon even without direct Congressional approval by 61 to 35 percent.
A majority of voters supports federal subsidies for alternative energy.
Congressman A says the federal government should subsidize promising forms of alternative energy like solar, wind, and electric cars. Becoming less dependent on foreign oil is so important that we need to help alternatives get off the ground.
Congressman B says the federal government should not pick winners and losers in our energy future. We should eliminate all government subsidies and let consumers decide which energy sources are the most cost effective.
Overall voters support Congressman A's argument that the federal government should subsidize promising alternative energy sources by 53 to 41 percent. On this issue, Independents think more like Democrats than like Republicans. Democrats support Congressman A's argument for federal subsidies by 67 to 29 percent, and Independents agree by 56 to 40 percent. Republicans support Congressman B's argument to let the market decide by 57 to 38 percent.
Read the full report: Voters Want Spending Cuts And Budget Reforms Tied To Debt Limit Increase