Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Poll: Political Divide on Renewable Energy is a Total Myth

Heads up to our representatives: A new poll show's there's no victory to be had in being anti-renewable energy. Sure, sure...some organizations out there have an interest in creating some purely fabricated, false appearance that renewable energy is a hot button partisan political if there are herds of conservative voters out there willing to storm the polling booths to defend the good name of Coal.

But that's not even close to true. Not even close. By and large, Americans of all political stripes support a transition to clean, renewable energy: solar, wind, etc.

There is no political divide on renewable energy, according to an ORC International survey conducted by the Civil Society Institute.

A new poll conducted by ORC International for the non-partisan Civil Society Institute finds that 77% of Americans support — including 65% of Republicans surveyed — believe “the U.S. needs to be a clean energy technology leader and it should invest in the research and domestic manufacturing of wind, solar and energy efficiency technologies.

The poll found that Americans support subsidies for renewable energy over fossil energy 3 to 1. When asked about having to choose between only subsidizing clean energy or fossil energy, 38% of respondents said they’d choose renewables, while 13% would choose fossils.


Our reps need to stick that in their pipe and smoke it. Just one more instance of how DC insiders are miserably out of step with what Americans actually want as our reps listen to the echo-money chamber of the DC bubble.

Some of the poll findings below:

Conducted March 22-25, 2012, the new ORC International survey of 1,019 Americans shows that:
About two out of three Americans (66 percent) - including 58 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Independents, and 75 percent of Democrats -- agree that the term "'clean energy standard' should not be used to describe any energy plan that involves nuclear energy, coal-fired power, and natural gas that comes from hydraulic fracturing, also known as 'fracking'."
Even with high gasoline prices today, 85 percent of Americans - including 76 percent of Republicans, 87 percent of Independents, and 91 percent of Democrats -- agree with the statement "energy development should be balanced with health and environmental concerns" versus just 13 percent who think "health and environmental concerns should not block energy development."
More than two out of three (68 percent) think it is "a bad idea for the nation to 'put on hold' progress towards cleaner energy sources during the current economic difficulty."
About three out of four Americans (73 percent) agree that "federal spending on energy should focus on developing the energy sources of tomorrow, such as wind and solar, and not the energy sources of yesterday, such as nuclear power." Fewer than one in four (22 percent) say that "federal spending on energy should focus on existing energy sources, such as nuclear, and not emerging energy sources, such as wind and solar."
More than two out of three Americans (68 percent) - including 60 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Independents, and 74 percent of Democrats -- think that America's "new energy future" should be guided by the "precautionary principle," which would work very much like the Hippocratic oath does for doctors: "The precautionary principle would advocate a conservative approach to the use of technologies that may put public health at risk and create irreversible environmental harm. If there is not enough scientific evidence showing that it is safe, precaution should guide decisions in those cases."
Eight out of 10 Americans agree that "water shortages and the availability of clean drinking water are real concerns. America should put the emphasis on first developing new energy sources that require less water and result in lower water pollution. "Only 15 percent of Americans think that "America should proceed first with developing energy sources even if they may have significant water pollution and water shortage downsides."
Two thirds of Americans (67 percent) think that "political leaders should help to steer the U.S. to greater use of cleaner energy sources - such as increased efficiency, wind and solar - that result in fewer environmental and health damages." Under a third of Americans (30 percent) think that "political leaders should stay out of the energy markets and let private enterprise have a free hand in picking energy sources and setting prices."
More than eight out of 10 Americans (82 percent) - including 78 percent of Republicans, 81 percent of Independents, and 85 percent of Democrats -- agree with the following statement: 'Whether they are referred to as 'subsidies,' 'tax incentives' or 'loan guarantees,' the use of taxpayer dollars for energy projects are long-term investments. However, government incentives for energy must benefit public health and economic well-being. Clear guidelines are needed to direct public energy investments by shifting more of the risk from taxpayers and ratepayers and more to the companies involved.'"
About three out of four Americans (75 percent) - including 58 percent of Republicans, 84 percent of Independents, and 86 percent of Democrats -- think that "Congress and state public utility commissions that regulate electric utilities should put more emphasis on renewable energy and increased energy efficiency รข€¦ and less emphasis on major investments in new nuclear, coal and natural gas plants."
Despite high gas prices, less than one in five Americans (16 percent) think that "the energy price paid by consumers is the only factor that makes any difference. Production damages, such as from mining, environmental impacts such as pollution, health harms, and other costs associated with energy should be considered less important factors." By contrast, 81 percent of Americans believe that "the price paid by consumers is only part of the cost of energy. We have to look at the whole picture -- including environmental and health damages -- when we talk about what a particular source of energy costs America."
Nearly six in 10 Americans (56 percent) are now aware of the natural gas drilling process commonly referred to as "fracking." Fewer than three in 10 Americans (28 percent) are "not aware at all" of this extraction process.
Eight out of 10 Americans (81 percent) who are aware of fracking say that they are concerned - including nearly half (47 percent) who are "very concerned" - about the impact of fracking on water quality.
About nine out of 10 Americans (89 percent) agree that "U.S. energy planning and decision making must be made with full knowledge and understanding about the availability of water regionally and locally, and the impact this water use from specific energy choices has on their economies, including agricultural production."
Four out five Americans (80 percent) - including 78 percent of Republicans, 83 percent of Independents, and 82 percent of Democrats -- oppose the use by utilities in some states of advance billing - known as "Construction Work in Progress" - to pay for the construction of new nuclear and other power plants. Only 13 percent agree that "ratepayers should pay for electricity they use, and construction of nuclear reactors and other power plants that may come on line in the future."
Eight out of 10 Americans think U.S. taxpayers and ratepayers should not "finance the construction of new nuclear power reactors in the United States through tens of billions of dollars in proposed new federal loan guarantees." Three out of four Americans (76 percent) would support "a shift of federal loan-guarantee support for energy away from nuclear reactors and towards clean, renewable energy, such as wind and solar."

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