Predicting public support for renewable energy policy

Read the full story from the Yale Program for Climate Change Communication.

We are pleased to announce a new publication in Energy Policy entitled The influence of extractive industries on public support for renewable energy policy.

There is broad public support for renewable energy in the United States. However, renewable energy policies are increasingly being politically contested. This study investigates what factors shape public support for and opposition to renewable energy policies.

Drawing on eight years of nationally representative public opinion data (N = 13,233) and county-level mining, oil, and gas production data, we found that individuals living in counties dependent on mining or producing natural gas were less likely to support renewable energy policies than individuals living elsewhere, even when controlling for political ideology and other socio-demographic factors. We did not, however, find a similar pattern among individuals living in oil producing counties.

We also found a strong relationship between understanding that human-caused global warming is happening and support for renewable energy policy. Additionally, being politically liberal, more educated, and female were positively associated with policy support.

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