This survey presents the results of a national survey of 1,000+ registered voters on federal energy budget issues. The study was conducted April 8 - 14, 1998. The margin of error for samples of this size is +/-3.0 percent at the 95% level of confidence (i.e., in 95 out of 100 samples of this type, the sample value is within +/-3.0 percentage points of the population value).
The three questions summarized here address:
Sustainable Energy Funding Pending Ratification of the Kyoto Treaty:
Respondents were asked whether Congress should increase funding now for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels whether or not the United States Senate ratifies the proposed international global climate change treaty recently negotiated in Kyoto, Japan. Almost one-half of respondents (49%) say Congress should increase funding for sustainable energy programs now, whether or not the United States ratifies this proposed treaty while a little more than a third (37%) of respondents say we should not increase federal support for these programs until the United States ratifies the proposed treaty.
Almost 14% of the respondents did not offer an opinion on this question. Among those proffering a choice, 57% say that the United States should increase support for sustainable energy programs now while only 43% say we should wait pending ratification of the proposed treaty. Sentiment in favor of increased support for sustainable energy programs is particularly strong among those Independents (61%) and Democrats (60%) who expressed an opinion. Among Republicans, opinion is evenly split among those supporting increased support now (50%) and those who would not until a treaty is ratified (50%).
This question was not asked in earlier surveys conducted by the Sustainable Energy Coalition. However, in surveys conducted for the Sustainable Energy Coalition by R/S/M in November 1996 and December 1995, voters were asked how serious they thought the threat of global climate change was from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gasoline. In both of those earlier surveys, over 70% of voters said they viewed global climate change as either a very serious or somewhat serious threat. Furthermore, in response to a question in the November 1996 survey, 55% of respondents offering an opinion said they were either strongly or somewhat in favor of signing an international treaty to set a legally binding deadline for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
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