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Nearly Half of Americans Now Report 'Great Deal of Worry' Over Energy Prices

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded stands at $4.23 as of Wednesday morning, down roughly ten cents from its all-time high set earlier in March, but the number of Americans worried about both the cost and availability of energy continues to increase to nearly half of Americans according to a recent survey. 

According to Gallup, 47 percent of Americans now report having "a great deal" of worry about how much energy costs them and whether there will continue to be enough supply to meet demand. That number is up ten percent from one year ago, and more than double the number recorded in 2020. 

What's more, 30% of respondents in Gallup's survey said they "worry a fair amount," while 17% said they only worry "a little," and just 5% of Americans said they're not worried at all. 

Under Biden, concerns about energy are the highest they've been in a decade, since 2012, when he was serving as President Obama's VP. An additional question asked by Gallup on the seriousness of the United States' energy situation showed that Americans' sentiment on the crisis mirrors concerns in the fuel crisis of the 1970s: 

The survey also finds 44% of U.S. adults describing the energy situation in the U.S. as "very serious," with 46% identifying it as "fairly serious" and 10% "not at all serious." A year ago, 32% said the energy situation was very serious.

Gallup first asked the question about the seriousness of the U.S. energy situation in 1977, during the 1970s energy crisis, and updated it frequently the rest of that decade. The current percentage describing the energy situation as very serious is similar to what it was in the late 1970s, as well as between 2006 and 2009.

The worry and seriousness with which Americans view America's energy situation reflect another data point that shows more than half — 55 percent — of Americans think there will be a "critical energy shortage" within five years. 

As Gallup's release gleans from their survey, "Americans are substantially more worried about energy than they were a year ago and in 2020, when concern was at a two-decade low" at the end of President Trump's time in office when the United States was energy independent. 

The discontent with energy prices is also a drag on President Biden. Gallup reports that "[j]ust 38% of Americans approve of President Joe Biden's handling of energy policy, and 36% approve of his handling of the economy," two issues that drag down "his low overall job approval rating of 42%." 

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