Survey: Conservatives Do, Indeed, Support Clean Energy Development

Posted by Betsy Lillian on December 02, 2016 No Comments
Categories : Policy Watch

A newly released poll conducted after the presidential election shows that more than 80% of voters surveyed indicated it is important for elected officials to share their views on energy. In addition, 88% said they would likely oppose a candidate who does not support the development and use of clean energy sources, according to the Conservative Energy Network (CEN), a group that supports and connects state-based conservative clean energy and energy efficiency organizations across the U.S.

The group says conservatives in particular expressed strong support for the acceleration of clean energy – particularly when such development improves the economy and creates jobs.

“Clean energy provides a critical path toward growing state economies and job creation, especially in innovation-driven states,” states Mark Pischea, executive director of CEN. “Conservatives and Trump voters alike recognize our nation’s inevitable transition to clean energy and want to ensure that our nation gets the national security, economic development and jobs benefit to moving more fully toward an ‘all of the above’ approach.”

Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies, a GOP polling firm, conducted the polling and unveiled the new data, which shows that a majority of voters find value in national and statewide policies that encourage the generation and use of electricity from renewable and clean energy sources, explains CEN.

“A majority of voters get the importance of encouraging our nation’s clean energy transition – even if many politicians do not,” says Bolger. “Energy efficiency is the obvious low-hanging fruit, but we also found overwhelming support for renewable energy projects such as community solar and policies like net metering.”

CEN says 70% of voters believe the U.S. should put more emphasis on wind production; in addition, 76% support increased solar production.

Likewise, more than half those polled think the U.S. should put less emphasis on coal, the survey says.

CEN adds that Republican, Democrat and Independent voters all demonstrate strong support for the adoption of an energy optimization standard in their state.

“It is time for conservatives to reject the false label that we are anti-environment or anti-renewables,” says John Karakoulakis of the Western Way, a regional organization that urges conservative leaders in western states to engage on environmental and energy challenges. “We need to embrace policies that strike the right balance between the need for clean air and water and the preservation of our public lands – with investment in energy generation that also improves local economies.”

Mike Franklin, consultant to the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum, adds, “The bottom line is, rank and file Republican support for clean energy policies at the state level is growing.”

The poll surveyed 1,000 voters across the country from Nov. 10-13. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%, says CEN.

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