The citizens of the United States generally oppose new energy developments, yet the public does not want to go without cheap, plentiful energy. This book explores the intricate relationship between public opinion and energy issues. Using the state of California as a model, the author addresses such questions as, What roles do ideology and other values play in influencing opinions on energy issues? How much does the public understand about energy issues? Who favours further oil development or the expansion of nuclear power? How have people's opinions changed over time and how are they likely to change in the future? Are people guided by self-interest or other motives? Energy, the Environment, and Public Opinion sheds light on how much the public understands about energy policy, what the public wants officials to do about our energy problems, and how governments at various levels are likely to come to grips with energy shortages in the future.
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. A Brief History of America's Energy Problems
Chapter 3. What Are the Trends in Public Opinion?
Chapter 4. How Much Does the Public Understand about Energy?
Chapter 5. What Causes Public Opinion?
Chapter 6. Implications for the Future
Chapter 7. Statistical Methods Appendix
Chapter 8. Data Appendix
Chapter 9. List of Figures and Tables
Eric R.A.N. Smith is an associate professor of political science at the University of California in Santa Barbara.
"Smith has produced an important book that is must reading for both public opinion and environmental policy scholars. More broadly, this book offers any student of American politics and policy important insights into issue formation and diminution and opinion change."
"Smith pulls together a wealth of fascinating survey data on the public's views of energy issues and how they have changed over time, what people know about energy problems, and the factors that shape these beliefs and opinions. His perceptive and highly readable analysis of energy attitudes and policy comes at a most opportune time as the nation once again confronts enduring energy challenges."
– Michael Kraft, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay