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U.S. Split Between Environment And Economic Growth

Even with high gas prices and the general perception that the U.S. is in a recession, Americans continue to say (by a seven percentage-point margin, 49% to 42%) protecting the environment should be given priority even at the risk of curbing economic growth, according to a new Gallup Poll.

Still, this is down from the 18-point margin of a year ago, when 55 percent said they would prioritize the environment over economic growth. Further, the 49 percent of Americans currently favoring the environment over growth is only two points above the historical low over the past couple of decades.

The public is almost equally divided between prioritizing the environment and prioritizing economic growth or developing new energy supplies. Given such a split in public opinion, it should not be surprising that the political response has been inaction.

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,012 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted March 6-9, 2008. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Read the full survey here.

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