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High tension electrical power lines at a transfer station in California. Photo: George Rose / Getty Images

New Gallup polling finds that 25% of American adults are greatly concerned about energy prices and access, which is the lowest level — albeit by a hair — in 18 years of their polling on the question. The same survey, conducted early last month, shows that 59% of respondents prioritize environmental protection over fossil fuel development.

Why it matters: The Gallup data underscores how energy prices — which are low these days thanks partially to the U.S. oil-and-gas surge — influence public perception.

"Energy has been a key issue at times in the U.S., particularly when it has been scarce or particularly costly. But now, with relatively low gas prices and little evidence of energy shortages in the U.S., Americans' concern has declined and is currently at or near record lows."
— Gallup's summary of the results
Expand chart
Data: Gallup; Chart: Axios Visuals

One level deeper: 73% said they preferred an emphasis on alternative energy, such as wind and solar, over fossil fuels. Republicans are more narrowly divided there, with 51% favoring a focus on alternative energy compared to 41% favoring fossil fuel production. Among Democrats, that divide is a much wider 88% to 9%.

  • Similarly, "Democrats prioritize environmental protection over development of energy supplies by 79% to 15%, while Republicans take the opposite view, favoring development of energy by 62% to 31%," Gallup reports.

To be totally clear: Phrasing can matter a lot in polling, so here's precisely how they worded that question about the environment and energy production:

"With which one of these statements about the environment and energy production do you most agree — protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of limiting the amount of energy supplies — such as oil, gas and coal — which the United States produces (or) development of U.S. energy supplies — such as oil, gas and coal — should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent?"

Flashback: The poll arrives a week after Gallup released survey results on climate change that show deep and persistent partisan divides.

Go deeper

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Senator Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Senator Leader Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, who was the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the senate for 27 years, including including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

4 hours ago - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.

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