Political divisions are a growing fixture in the United States today, whether the topic is marriage across party lines, responding to climate change or concern about coronavirus exposure. Especially in a presidential election year, the vast divide between conservatives and liberals often feels nearly impossible to bridge.
Our research examines what people know about the energy sources in use today in the United States, and what types of energy they would like to see the nation using in 2050. Energy connects to many important issues, including climate change, jobs and economic growth, equity and social justice, and international relations. It would be easy to assume that America’s energy future is a highly polarized topic, especially when the Trump administration is clashing with many states led by Democrats over energy policies.
However, in a nationwide online survey, we recently found that broad support exists across the political spectrum for a future powered mostly by renewable energy sources. Our work highlights a consensus around the idea that the United States needs to move its entire energy system away from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy sources.