The 2020 elections were very close and very contentious, resulting in an evenly split U.S. Senate and a Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives maintaining the narrowest majority in modern times. The media has suggested this reflects deep divisions and while that may be partly true, perhaps the outcome instead represents a clear consensus around the political center where thoughtful, responsible, commonsense solutions carry the day.
Our latest poll of voters’ thoughts on clean energy solutions certainly supports that view; it once again shows clear, bipartisan support for federally led clean energy development.
Consistent with the results from our previous polling, both Republican and Democrat voters showed strong enthusiasm for a renewed push to increase government support for clean energy development and meaningful, all-of-the-above climate solutions. This includes 74 percent of all Americans and including 59 percent of Republicans. Moreover, 82 percent of voters, including 78 percent of Republicans, approve of tax credits for individuals and companies to accelerate clean energy projects.
Nature-based solutions have also gained traction over the last year. Two-thirds of the respondents supported planting more trees—like the Trillion Trees Act link to for the purpose of capturing carbon dioxide naturally, and 77 percent supported creating a voluntary carbon market for farmers. This market would help offset carbon emissions from large companies and provide an important new revenue stream for farming operations of all sizes.
As CRES Executive Director Heather Reams explained, “Clean energy is not a red versus blue issue—it’s a red, white and blue issue.”
“American voters understand that when all solutions are on the table and regulations are streamlined,” she continued, “our economy is stronger, our environment is healthier, and our nation maintains its crucial energy independence from all other nations.”
Under the leadership of a Republican led U.S. Senate, Congress proved in December that working together in a bipartisan fashion is the surest way to enact meaningful reforms in the sustainable energy space: The Energy Act of 2020 represents the first clean energy innovation package in the U.S. in over a decade. That legislation, signed into law before the end of year, contained all or parts of 37 Senate bills and reflected the priorities of nearly 70 senators.
The Energy Act of 2020 symbolized a monumental win for bipartisan, all-of-the-above clean energy policies that will move America forward. The package put American innovation and ingenuity first by investing in critical research and development that will support wind, solar, hydropower and other forms of renewable energy, encourage U.S. exploration of critical minerals, promote safe and reliable nuclear energy and advance carbon management and removal.
The strong support for new energy solutions bodes well for the 2021 conservative agenda, and the new CRES poll shows that voters back Republican lawmakers on these issues. Voters signaled they want American companies to use energy that is sourced cleanly and domestically and want them to be transparent about their energy consumption. The poll found that 72 percent of voters, including 61 percent of Republicans, want companies to disclose where the energy they use is sourced.
This transparency contributes to a robust economy powered through clean energy that will create good-paying jobs for Americans while making significant improvements to our climate without heavy-handed mandates. CRES looks forward to continuing the conversation this year on ways to increase government support for clean energy development and commonsense, all-of-the-above climate solutions. Help us out by sharing!
The online poll—conducted by Public Opinion Strategies from December 28 through January 4—surveyed 1,057 registered voters in the United States and has a margin of sampling error of 3.44 percentage points.