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RFF Home > Centers > CECE > Surveying American Attitudes toward Climate Change and Clean Energy

Surveying American Attitudes toward Climate Change
and Clean Energy

Resources for the Future has teamed up with Stanford University to conduct an in-depth survey of American perceptions of climate change and energy policies. The most recent poll was released in January 2015 in partnership with The New York Times.

The survey asked respondents questions on a range of topics, including:

  • How serious a problem is global warming for the United States and for the world?
  • Are President Obama and members of Congress ascribing sufficient importance to the issue of global warming?
  • Do Americans support government efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, such as higher taxes on electricity and gasoline, or tax breaks for companies that produce more renewable or clean energy?

RFF President Phil Sharp notes about the findings:

"The American people seem far more unified than our political leadership on the need to address climate change. As often happens, politicians would do well to catch up with the electorate."

The poll builds on previous collaborations between RFF and Stanford in December 2013 (in partnership with USA Today) and again in June 2014 after the Obama administration's proposal on June 3 to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

Survey Results

April 2015

February 2015

January 2015

June 2014

December 2013

Wind turbines


Jon Krosnick, RFF University Fellow and Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences at Stanford University,

Dave Cohen, RFF Press Secretary,

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