Energy and Climate Change in the 2016 Election

The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and The AP-NORC Center conducted a national AmeriSpeak® survey of Americans’ attitudes on energy, climate change, and government action ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

Energy issues and climate change are important issues for about half of likely voters as they cast their ballot this November, with majorities of Americans supporting government action domestically and in international efforts, according to a recent national poll conducted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Though only a quarter of Americans are confident that the U.S. will meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 8 in 10 say the U.S. should continue making progress even if other countries such as India and China do not.

Most Americans lack accurate knowledge of fracking, and many don’t hold strong attitudes about the practice. While majorities support federal regulations to reduce ​greenhouse gas emissions and adding a modest fee to their electric bill to combat climate change, attitudes depend on the policies’ impacts on Americans’ wallets and the economy at large.

The nationwide poll of 1,096 adults used the AmeriSpeak® Omnibus, a monthly multi-client survey using NORC at the University of Chicago’s probability based panel. Interviews were conducted between August 11 and 18, 2016, online and using landlines and cellphones.