Well, who would have thunk it?
According to a poll from a Republican public opinion research firm, 52 percent of Republicans and a similar number of self-identified conservatives (R's, D's, and I's) say they support a comprehensive national energy policy that both increases domestic energy production and caps carbon dioxide emissions. Only around 35 percent of both subsets of voters voiced opposition.
Now, get this: Among the approximately one-third of voters who say they look kindly upon the Tea Party movement, the split was more even, but still, a remarkable 47 percent supported said energy policy, while 42 percent opposed.
Here's some more rich food for thought: The pollster asked the self-identified conservatives and Tea Party backers whether they believe conserving natural resources and environmental stewardship are conservative values. An overwhelming majority, 86 percent, said yes. A similar number of the Tea Partiers, 84 percent, held that view also.
(Full disclosure: the survey was a collaborative effort between Republicans for Environmental Protection and Bellwether Research & Consulting. Bellwether conducted a national survey of 802 voters - 84 percent by regular old landline phone and 16 percent by cell phone - between April 26 and May 2.)
If you take your cues on conservative thought from Rush Limbaugh and other self-appointed conservative sages of the radio spectrum, such numbers wouldn't make sense. For years, the boys behind the mic have pounded home a dogmatic theme that protecting our natural endowment is the obsession of fringe "enviro-wackos." Furthermore, according to their revealed truth, capping carbon pollution would be a giant stride down the road to socialist economic perdition.
Apparently, however, their message in this area hasn't made as much headway as conventional wisdom would dictate. Perhaps it's time for Republican lawmakers to pay less heed to the gasbags and work harder on balanced energy and environmental legislation that is consistent with what their constituents are thinking.
Want to dig into the numbers? Click here.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.