We hear about "energy security" from candidates and talking heads in the media often, but its meaning can be ambiguous because the phrase means different things to different people.

According to the latest UT Energy Poll* released in February, 55 percent of Americans are concerned about it, including 51 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats.


This includes 67 percent of Hispanics, 60 percent of African Americans and 52 percent of whites.

Top concerns include terrorist targets (56 percent), dependency on the Middle East for our oil and gas (47 percent), and electric grid vulnerabilities (43 percent).

Those concerned about terrorist targets include 65 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of Democrats.

It will be interesting to see how energy security is addressed by candidates leading up to the 2016 election. It's certainly something I hope we hear more about in the months to come.

* The semiannual University of Texas at Austin Energy Poll polled 2,043 Americans on a wide array of energy issues in January 2016. 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. For more information on the results, methodology and past surveys, visit www.utenergypoll.com.