Graduate Project


California Energy Policy and Perceptions in the 21st Century Public Deposited

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  • Rarely does an industry touch each citizen’s everyday life while simultaneously garnering such little public attention as the energy industry does. From the fuel powering our vehicles to the energy flowing into our homes powering our laptops, TV’s and lights the energy industry enables our modern lifestyles, but this is not without consequence. As our economies attempt to decarbonize their current infrastructures and further embrace alternative energy technologies, a concerted effort must be made to ensure solutions are being pursued that work for everyone and not a select few. To do this, new energy policies must be considered and implemented in an immediate effort but only with the general public’s overall support. The state of California has committed itself to one of the most aggressive renewable energy targets in the world with the pledge to obtain 100% of its energy needs from renewable energy sources by the year 2045. This lofty goal will only be achieved with the strong public support needed to maintain this commitment and to keep political figures in office that also share these priorities. In order to assess public support for renewable and traditional energy technologies, survey data from an Oregon State University study are examined. Findings suggest that there is widespread support for renewable energy development and the support is strongest among the most highly educated and liberal respondents, while those with lower levels of education and conservatives are more supportive of traditional energy sources and less informed about energy policy.
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