Pressed for space in today’s Morning Bell, we left out some of the more fascinating findings from that Pew poll showing how dramatically American opinion is shifting in favor of increased energy production. Pew reports:
Much of the increase in support for energy exploration has come among groups that previously viewed this as a less important priority than energy conservation – young people, liberals, independents, Democrats, women and people who have attended college.
Fully half of people ages 18 to 29 (51%) now say expanding energy exploration is a more important priority for energy policy than increasing energy conservation and regulation; only about a quarter of young people (26%) expressed this view in February. The proportion of liberals who say expanded energy exploration is the more important priority also has doubled (from 22% to 45%).
The gender gap in attitudes about whether greater exploration or greater conservation is the more important priority has disappeared, as women have become much more supportive of expanded exploration (up 18 points).
Similarly, more independents (19 points) and Democrats (16 points) view increased energy exploration as the more important priority. About the same proportions of Democrats (46%) and Republicans (43%) now say expanded exploration, rather than increased conservation, should take precedence; in February, far more Republicans than Democrats expressed this view.