Two-Thirds Of Americans Disagree With Trump’s Focus On Fossil Fuels


As President Donald Trump prepares toboost fossil fuel production, a Pew Research Center pollfinds that 65 percent of Americans would rather the U.S. focus on developing clean energy.

The new poll, released Monday, shows that 27 percent said fossil fuels should be a priority, compared with 65 percent who favored renewable energy. Public support for renewable fuels has risen 5 percentage points since 2014, Pew said, with 81 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of Republicans now backing it as a priority. Among those aged 18 to 49, 73 percent favored renewables, compared with half of those over 50.

TrumpsAmerica First Energy Planis outlined on the White House website, which featured former President Barack Obamas robust climate action plan before it was taken down hours after last weeks inauguration.

The new presidents energy plan boasts that the Trump administration:

… will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans. We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own.

The plan echoes a November video message posted to YouTube in which Trump pledged to undo fossil fuel restrictions his first 100 days in office and create many millions of high-paying jobs in coal and shale.

Trumps chief of staff, Reince Priebus, issued an executive memorandum hours after the inauguration, freezing all new government rules and regulations, including four Obama administration rules to boost energy efficiency.

Trumps fondness for petroleum shows in his proposed Cabinet, which includesformer Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, and Oklahoma attorney general and climate-denier Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Police remove a protester at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing for Rex Tillerson, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 11, 2017.

Trump has been antagonistic to renewable energy. He said in August that solar, the fastest-growing source of energy, has a lot of problems and is not working so good. Wind farms, he tweeted in 2012, aredisgusting looking and werekilling the finances and environment of many countries and communities.

Last year proved the hottest year on record, resulting in severe weather that included extreme flooding and deadly wildfires. Still, the Pew Research Center poll found just 12 percent of conservative Republicans and Republican leaners believe climate change is a major threat to the well-being of the United States.

Leaders in dozens of cities are standing up to Trump, pledging commitment to renewable energy.

We ask that you lead us in expanding the renewable energy sources we need to achieve energy security [and] address climate change a group of mayors wrote ina November open letter to Trump. While we are prepared to forge ahead even in the absence of federal support, we know that if we stand united on this issue, we can make change that will resonate for generations.

The Pew Research Center poll was conducted Jan. 4 to Jan. 9, with a nationally representative sample of 1,502 U.S. adults.

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