There continues to be large partisan differences on the topic of energy policies. Fully 89% of Republicans favor allowing more offshore oil and gas drilling while only half of Democrats agree — a gap of 39 points. A majority of independents (64%) support an increase in offshore drilling.

Republicans are also more likely than Democrats to favor giving tax cuts to energy companies for oil and gas exploration and promotion of nuclear power.

By contrast, Democrats and independents are far more likely than Republicans to favor increased federal funding for alternative energy research and mass transit, as well as requiring better fuel efficiency for vehicles. About eight-in-ten Democrats (81%) and 70% of independents support increased funding for alternative energy, compared with 52% of Republicans.

Over the past year, more Republicans have begun to view the expansion of oil, coal and natural gas as a more important priority than the development of alternative energy sources.

Compared to a year ago, when they were divided, conservative Republicans now prioritize traditional energy sources over alternative sources by a 65% to 26% margin. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.