Jan 20, 2021 - Energy & Environment
Voters favor Biden's climate policies, but few view issue as top priority
Several new polls help to show where the public's at on energy and climate as Biden takes office.
Why it matters: People tend to favor emissions-cutting and low-carbon energy initiatives, but it's hardly top of mind.
Driving the news: A new Morning Consult poll showed registered voters' support Biden taking steps including...
- Rejoining the Paris deal (56% support vs. 25% in opposition).
- Requiring public companies to disclose emissions and climate risk info (63% support vs. 19% in opposition).
- Imposing methane emissions limits on oil-and-gas operations (55% support vs. 23% in opposition).
- Big public investments in electric vehicle charging (54% support vs. 24% in opposition).
Separately, the New York Times reports on post-election polling from Yale and George Mason universities.
- "66 percent said that developing sources of clean energy should be a high or very high priority," the NYT reports.
- Eight in 10 people back tax breaks for people who buy solar panels or electric cars.
- The same share back a program that would hire out-of-work coal miners to shut down old mines safely and restore the landscape.
But, but, but: Climate and energy policy are not at the top of poll respondents' list of concerns and interests. The chart above shows Morning Consult findings there.
- New Associated Press polling shows that 68% of adults named the economy as one of the top five things they want the government to work on.
- In the open-ended questioning, 24% listed climate change — well behind health care and the pandemic.
- CBS News polling released Saturday found that 4% of adults said climate should be Biden's top priority.
- They were given a menu that also included the economy, the pandemic, political divisions, health care, race relations and illegal immigration.
Quick take: With economic concerns paramount, look for Biden officials to keep promoting their agenda as a way to create jobs in low-carbon sectors.