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Energy & Environment

About half of Americans (49%) say that protection of environment should be given priority, even at the risk of limiting the amount of energy supplies, virtually unchanged from their sentiment last year. Fewer than four in 10 (39%) prioritize the development of U.S. energy supplies even if the environment suffers to some extent. (Gallup, 2015)


According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, domestic energy production satisfies 84% of demand in the United States, up from its historical low point of 69% in 2005.

Not surprisingly, according to the latest Gallup Environment poll (March, 2015), those who favor protection of the environment vs. development of U.S. energy supplies are heavily weighted by Democrats, while Republicans heavily favor development of energy.


However, these preferences do change, over time, suggesting people’s choices may be affected by key variables such as the price of energy (primarily gasoline, electricity and heating oil) and the state of global stability, as well as political affiliations and the relative attention given to this issue by the media and politicians themselves.

For instance, in 2002, Democrats favored Environment vs. Energy by a margin of 32 points; in 2012 the gap was 22 points, and in 2015 has ‘accelerated’ all the way up to a 56 point gap in favor of protecting the environment. By contrast, Republicans favored Energy vs. Environment by 15 points in 2002, 44 points in 2012, and 35 points in 2015. Independents favored Environment vs. Energy 24 points in 2002, dropping significantly to 8 points in 2012 where it remains, at 9 points in 2015.


For information about NASA’s Earth science programs, visit:

Related TED Talks: Energy & Environment

Related TED Talks: Energy & Environment

Watch these TED Talks for a primer on climate change. (NOTE: None of these TED Talks makes an argument against climate change.)

Summary of current (2015) climate change components

Summary of current (2015) climate change components

For a comprehensive summary of current (2015) climate change components, see The Economist’s Climate Change Report: