A majority of Americans are concerned with energy security issues with terrorism, dependency on the Middle East and electrical grid security of major concern, according to the latest edition of the UT Energy Poll.
The fifth annual poll surveys more than 2,000 people nationwide online on a variety of energy issues. Sheril Kirshenbaum, director of the UT Energy Poll, released the results during a luncheon keynote address at the UT Energy Week event being held at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The conference kicked off Tuesday and runs through Friday and focuses on energy issues. The UT Energy Institute hosts the conference along with student-led Longhorn Energy Club and the KBH Center for Energy, Law & Business.
In the latest poll, most Americans report government and industry should collaborate to strengthen U.S. energy security and energy independence, Kirshenbaum said.
But most Americans are not well informed when it comes to energy issues. The majority of Americans still think the U.S. gets the majority of its oil from Saudi Arabia, Kirshenbaum said. In fact, the U.S. gets the majority of its oil imports from Canada and Mexico, she said.
Also, only 47 percent of Americans are familiar with the terms fracking and hydraulic fracking, Kirshenbaum said.
What has changed from past surveys is that 73 percent of Americans now think that climate change is happening, she said.
“The majority of both parties think climate change is occurring,” she said.
And two out of three Americans think the U.S. should prioritize reducing carbon emissions, Kirshenbaum said.
One of the biggest changes in the survey from last year concerned Americans attitudes about gas prices. Most Americans are satisfied with the price per gallon at the pump, which is at a national average of about $1.80, according to AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Its even lower in Texas with the price of a gallon of gas averaging $1.41 in most Texas metro areas, according to the report.
“People are feeling quit optimistic right now about energy and where it’s headed and its affect on their future,” Kirshenbaum said.
For more on the UT Energy Poll please visit its website.