Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Energy: The Rising Toll on Perceptions of America's Foreign Policy

30 Apr 2008 05:01 Africa/Lagos

Energy: The Rising Toll on Perceptions of America's Foreign Policy

NEW YORK, April 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Rising fears about the health of the U.S. economy are spilling over into the public's thinking about foreign policy issues, and their concerns about the nation's dependence on others to satisfy its energy needs are particularly pronounced. The Spring 2008 edition of the Confidence in U.S. Foreign Policy Index from Public Agenda and its partner Foreign Affairs reveals that six out of ten Americans (60 percent) say reducing energy dependence would strengthen our nation's security "a great deal," the highest percentage since the Index's inception and now the most highly rated of 12 basic strategies to improve national security explored in the survey.

Analysis and data for questions asked in all six editions of the CFPI are available at:

Whereas improving intelligence operations used to top the list of strategies for improving national security, now reducing energy dependence is the highest national security priority for the American public. There has been a very large jump of 16 percentage points over the past six months of those saying they worry "a lot" about the rise in cost of gas and fuel (70 percent). And there has been a 14-point jump in those saying they worry "a lot" that problems abroad may hurt our supply of oil and raise prices (54 percent), with 35 percent saying they worry somewhat.

The public may be more dispirited about what can be done about the energy challenge. Fewer say it is realistic to think that the U.S. government will be able to maintain a stable supply of oil at a reasonable price.

Grades on Iraq Improve but Overall Attitudes Still Negative. Fundamental attitudes about Iraq have not changed. There has been some improvement in how the public grades U.S. performance in Iraq since the last edition of the CFPI.

More in the report: Increasing support for diplomacy, especially on dealing with Iran. Perceptions of Muslims changing. Increasing favorability of global development strategies. New public thinking on fighting Al Queda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Ford Foundation, the index covers more than 25 issues through more than 110 survey questions and has been issued biannually since June 2005.

CONTACT: Michael Hamill Remaley of Public Agenda, +1-212-686-6610 ext. 13,

Source: Public Agenda

CONTACT: Michael Hamill Remaley of Public Agenda, +1-212-686-6610 ext.

Web Site: Public Agenda

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