Study: Renewable energy sources favored over coal, natural gas

The number of people backing U.S. development of renewables has decreased by 11 percent from March 2011, but many still believe alternative sources are more important to a national energy policy than the production of coal and natural gas.

According to a study from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 63 percent of respondents said they favored sources such as wind, hydro and solar compared to 29 percent who wanted more oil, coal and natural gas energy sources in March 2011. A year later, 52 percent of respondents said they want more renewable production, compared to 39 percent who back fossil fuels.

Respondents also support a broad range of energy policies, including more funding for research on wind, solar and hydropower (69 percent). However, they were divided on promoting the increased use of nuclear power (44 percent), and giving tax cuts to energy companies for oil and gas exploration (46 percent).

Survey participants also said they do not know much about hydraulic fracturing, but among those who are familiar with the process, more than half are in favor of it.

To read the full report, click here. (PDF)

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