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Younger Americans More Supportive of Exporting Natural Gas Than Older Americans


The new UT Energy Poll data is out today! Here I'll highlight changing American attitudes related to the export of natural gas.

The infographic above shows a snapshot of current survey responses collected March 3-­17 among 2,133 U.S. residents aged 18 and older*.

The first thing I notice is that younger Americans are much more likely to support natural gas export than older Americans. It makes me wonder if this may reflect older respondents' memories of living through the 1970s energy crisis.

Republicans and Libertarians are also more likely than Democrats and Independents to support natural gas export, but age seems to be the most influential factor we observe in the data.

Looking at the data over time [not pictured], support for export has increased during the past year from 28 to 37 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who disagree has decreased from 39 to 28 percent. Still, nearly one third of Americans remain neutral, which is not surprising giving energy literacy among the public remains low.

Why are we seeing increased support for natural gas export? It's possible that these trends may reflect the current media attention to Russian energy and the crisis in Ukraine. We can't be sure, but it will be interesting to see the Fall data in six months...


* Data from the poll were weighted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income based on U.S. Census Bureau figures, as well as propensity scores, to ensure the sample’s composition reflects the actual U.S. population. MOE for this wave is 3.0

This post originally appeared at Scientific American’s ‘Plugged In

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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