It's a commonly held belief that certain political parties are more pro-green than others, but the truth is far more complicated than that, according to a new ORC International survey conducted for the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (CSI).
One of the most notable findings of the new survey was that 76 percent of Americans believe the US needs to find a way to rely more on renewable energy sources.
That 76 percent included 58 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of independents and 88 percent of Democrats surveyed, all of whom agreed that the nation should reduce its reliance on "nuclear power, natural gas, coal and instead look at more renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions."
While the survey may show that support for renewable energies is a bipartisan issue, average Americans see the current political climate as a hindrance, rather than an avenue to real change.
According to the survey, more than three out of four Americans – including 70 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Independents, and 85 percent of Democrats — believe that "the energy industry's extensive and well-financed public relations, campaign contributions and lobbying machine is a major barrier to moving beyond business as usual when it comes to America's energy policy."
As a result, more than eight out of 10 Americans agree with the following statement: "The time is now for a new, grassroots-driven politics to realize a renewable energy future. Congress is debating large public investments in energy and we need to take action to ensure that our taxpayer dollars support renewable energy– one that protects public health, promotes energy independence and the economic well being of all Americans."
Officials with the CSI see the survey results as a challenge to individuals across the political landscape to begin making changes for energy efficiency at the individual and community levels. "Americans believe the partisan gridlock can only be challenged by a grassroots-driven process that challenges the undue political influence of the fossil fuel and nuclear power interest," said Pam Solo, founder and president of CSI, in a statement.