The September 2003 West Coast Governors' Global Warming Initiative launched a commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions through a number of strategies, including a public outreach campaign. This strategy recognized that citizens are an important component to abating greenhouse-gas emissions, as well as important participants in the policy process. It thus becomes important to understand the public's environmental values and policy-relevant knowledge concerning energy, and the implications of these values and information for the adoption of renewable-energy policies. Using a survey of more than 1,500 citizens in Oregon, this article investigates the levels of energy-policy-relevant knowledge, information sources associated with higher levels of policy-relevant knowledge, and relationships among culture, knowledge, and support for renewable-energy policies. The findings show that: 1) citizens who are more knowledgeable about energy are also more supportive of adopting renewable-energy policies; 2) somewhat malleable situational factors are important predictors of knowledge; and 3) sources of information differ in their direct connection to knowledge. This article concludes that even while also considering trans-situational and cultural variables, public knowledge is a critical component of support for renewable-energy policy.


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pp. 270-286
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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Ceased Publication
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