Environment Makes a Comeback (Except Among Republicans)

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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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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