AUSTIN, TEXAS – Energy matters to U.S. consumers and it will likely influence their votes this November. These were some of the insights revealed this morning by the Director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Poll, Sheril Kirshenbaum.

According to the poll, almost two-thirds (65%) of energy consumers say that energy is important to them. Further, the majority of survey respondents would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who backs expanded domestic natural gas development. Consumers also appeared to support increasing financial incentives for companies engaged in renewable energy and the creation of a (presumably national) renewable portfolio standard.

On the environmental front, the Energy Poll observed a distinct decline in support for environmental protection since the last poll was conducted 6 months ago. In this go-round, when asked to choose between economic growth or environmental protection, more consumers preferred growth. In the last poll, the response was more evenly split. Further, fewer consumers said they are willing to pay much higher prices for energy in order to protect the environment (at 30% compared with 38% last fall).

To read more about the survey and its results, visit UT Energy Poll Director Sheril Kirshenbaum's comments (here), or visit the UT Energy Poll website (here).

Note: The University of Texas at Austin Energy Poll reflects the views of 2,371 Americans surveyed during March 5-16, 2012. The data were weighted using U.S. Census Bureau figures, as well as propensity scores, to ensure the sample's composition reflects the actual U.S. population.

Photo Credit - UT Energy Poll