A new paper has just been published by Leah Stokes and Christopher Warshaw: Renewable energy policy design and framing influence public support in the United States in the journal Nature Energy. This paper analyzes how policy framing shapes public support for energy policies.
In this paper, we evaluate the congruence between public opinion and state-level renewable energy policy. They find that the presence and ambition of Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies tracks public support for RPS policies in each state.
To measure the degree to which different policy frames shape voters' support for RPS bills, we then use a survey experiment to provide respondents different information about how the bill affects air pollution, jobs, energy prices, and climate change. They also varied whether the bill was supported by most Democrat or most Republican legislators. They find that public health, job creation, and partisan cues have significant effects on public support for the RPS; however, positive effects may be limited when voters' electricity bills increase.