AMERICAN SUPPORT FOR FEDERAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs is increasing. Conversely, American support of nuclear power and fossil fuels is on the decline.
That's according to a recent survey, America Speaks Out on Energy: A Survey of Federal Energy Funding Priorities, conducted by the Sustainable Energy Coalition.
A thousand registered voters were asked about federal energy budget issues. They were told Congress is making decisions on the federal budget for the next fiscal year for five energy research and development programs: renewable energy; nuclear power; technologies to improve energy efficiency and conservation; fossil fuels; and natural gas. Participants were asked which programs should receive the highest priority for funding in the Department of Energy's R&D budget, and which of the programs should have budgets cut.
Renewable energy programs received the most support for R&D funding -- 32 percent of those surveyed back such initiatives. Energy efficiency and conservation followed at 28 percent, for a two-category combined total of 60 percent.
By comparison, only 10 percent chose natural gas as their first priority for federal funding, followed by fossil fuels, at 8 percent, and nuclear power, at 6 percent. About 16 percent of those polled didn't select one of the offered responses. Nearly three-fourths of those who expressed a preference among the choices picked either DOE's renewable energy or energy efficiency R&D programs.