Environment Makes a Comeback (Except Among Republicans)

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Public concern about the environment has made a sharp upward turn in the weeks since the Gulf spill, according to new polling data from Gallup. In surveys asking Americans which is more important, energy production or the environment, the preference has flipped in just two months.

When Gallup asked in March, 50 percent said energy should take precedence over the environment, while 43 percent said environment should be more important. With millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf—the consequence of policies that prioritize development over conservation—the numbers have shifted. Now 55 percent say the environment is most important, compared to 39 percent who favor energy production. Environment was trending downward over the past two years until this incident.

This isn’t true, however, for Republicans. The split on the question remains unchanged even in the wake of the disaster—62 percent favor energy development and 30 percent picked the environment.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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