American Voters Favor Offshore Wind

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Over 80% of the nation’s voters favor offshore wind energy.

Widespread support comes from both major political parties and every demographic group across the country, according to a national survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Voters across the board appreciate the benefits wind energy delivers, with Republicans overwhelmingly viewing wind as a clean, renewable, affordable power source that also reduces carbon emissions (88%) and keeps utility costs stable, while providing critical power to America’s densely populated areas (80%).

“Voters are strongly in favor of offshore wind energy, regardless of ideology or party affiliation,” says Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA.

“Republicans and Democrats alike see offshore wind as playing a key role in the nation’s future energy portfolio, providing tremendous economic and environmental benefits and helping stabilize the cost of electricity,” he adds.  

According to the poll, both Democrats and Republicans prefer wind to the increased use of coal, nuclear or even natural gas. More than half of Republican voters think the U.S. should put more emphasis on producing domestic energy from both wind and solar (58% and 66%) than other forms of energy. A majority of voters think the wind energy industry will be more important to the country’s economy than oil and natural gas 10 years from now (57% to 43%). And 85% of voters agree wind energy is a clean, renewable, and affordable power source of the future, including 80% of Republicans.

Republicans find facts about offshore wind energy convincing. The offshore wind industry possesses a power potential of more than 2,000 GW, nearly double the nation’s current electricity use. The wind industry will support 83,000, well-paying jobs by 2030 and will drive $25 billion dollars per year in new economic activity by 2030. 76% of GOP voters believe that offshore wind energy is the U.S.’s new ocean energy resource.

Support for offshore wind also crosses party lines and is largely favored by voters across the country, not just in coastal states, with those in the South (90%) and the Midwest (89%) viewing it most favorably. Unlike other pressing economic and environmental issues, there are no generational divisions over how people feel about offshore wind. Voters from Gen Z to Millennials to Gen X and Boomers all consistently express 83% to 88% favorability in their support for offshore wind.

Notably, those who identify politically as either very conservative (81%) or somewhat conservative (85%) align closely with those who lean moderate (84%) and liberal (92%) in their overall approval rating of offshore wind.

“The strong bipartisan support for offshore wind among voters is very encouraging. Consumers clearly see that offshore wind provides significant environmental benefits and will serve as a real economic contributor in the coming years, helping the nation recover and adding family-supporting jobs where they’re needed most at the local level following the coronavirus pandemic,” adds Kiernan. 

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