Survey: Majority support focus on alternative energy

The results would probably be different if a survey were taken at the IHS CERAWeek 2013 conference next month, when thousands of industry insiders are expected to gather in downtown Houston to discuss issues ranging from market volatility to unconventional oil and gas.

But a wide-ranging survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and USA Today found that a majority of Americans say the priority for addressing the nation’s energy supply should be developing alternative energy sources, including wind, solar and hydrogen, rather than increased production of oil, natural gas and coal.

In a survey conducted between Feb. 13 and Feb. 18, 54 percent of people favored focusing on alternative sources of energy, while 34 percent favored expanded exploration and production of hydrocarbons.

Twelve percent said the nation should pursue both options or that they didn’t know.

That’s a shift from October, when just 47 percent said the priority should be on developing alternative sources, with 39 percent favoring expanded emphasis on oil, natural gas and coal.

The national survey, which involved 1,504 adults, also involved questions on immigration, the upcoming sequester, gun control and other issues.

It also asked about climate change; 62 percent of people responding to the survey favored setting “stricter emission limits on power plants to address climate change.”

Another 28 percent opposed stricter limits, while 10 percent said they didn’t know.