University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

Coal, Natural Gas, and Pipelines: 10 Years of Fossil Fuels in the NSEE

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January 2018


In this chapter, we look at how American attitudes about fossil fuels have changed over the last decade. We use time-series data to consider shifts in support for phasing out coal-fired power plants altogether and for so-called “clean coal,” as well as for increasing the use of natural gas for electricity. We also report for the first time on Americans’ willingness to leave fossil fuels in the ground in order to limit future emissions, and present American attitudes about large pipeline projects. We also recall earlier CLOSUP reporting on public attitudes toward hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), and recount past NSEE polling on support for specific Obama-era fossil fuel policies: setting a hard cap on coal-related emissions and creating an energy security trust fund.

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