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Data: Brunswick Group; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Voters support natural gas production but also believe the industry must operate more cleanly, a new Brunswick Group poll shows.

Driving the news: The survey shows more support for gas than other fossil fuels, but it's much less popular than renewables.

  • 46% say gas can play a key role fighting global warming only if the industry does a lot more to curb emissions.
  • 31% see gas playing a "vital role" fighting climate change while 23% view gas as "part of the climate problem" and oppose new infrastructure.

Why it matters: Gas releases far less CO2 when burned than coal, which it has for years been shoving aside in power markets.

  • But methane emissions from production and transport erode some of that edge.
  • Activists want a much faster transition to zero-carbon sources to enable steep emissions cuts.

The intrigue: The election season has high stakes for the fuel.

  • President Trump has scrapped regulations on methane emissions.
  • Biden's plan calls for emissions rules and some new drilling limits, but does not support a fracking ban.

The big picture: The polling on gas is part of a wider-ranging new Brunswick Group survey on energy and climate.

  • 53% support giving state and local governments more power to thwart oil and gas pipeline projects, but 59% say blocking pipelines will not help fight climate change.
  • 13% of voters call climate one of the two most important topics in deciding their presidential vote, which is far below the pandemic, the economy and health care.
  • Subsidizing clean energy and regulating fossil fuel production and use is more popular than taxing carbon emissions.

Methodology: The August 5–11 survey of 1,000 registered voters has a margin of error of ±3.1%.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Dec 19, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Biden rolls out climate picks with emphasis on jobs, environmental justice

President-elect Biden. Photo: ALEX EDELMAN / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden introduced his energy and environment team on Saturday at an event that emphasized job-creation in low-carbon industries and racial justice, but provided no new policy specifics.

Why it matters: Biden has promised to make climate among his top priorities and his team is planning an approach that draws in agencies government-wide.

39 mins ago - World

Sudan's military places civilian prime minister under house arrest

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were also detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

Why it matters: The arrests of the civilian faction in the Sudanese government came a day after U.S. envoy Jeffrey Feltman met with the head of the military faction of the Sudanese government General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and warned him against staging a coup.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.