After an election rife with attacks on the clean energy industry, a new poll shows that renewable energy is popular among Colorado voters
Washington, DC— Today, the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) released a poll showing that Colorado voters understand the value of clean and renewable energy and support the industry. Aggressive anti-clean energy rhetoric was prevalent throughout the election but did not dramatically affect the state’s public opinion of the industry. Similar polls conducted in Iowa, Virginia, and Ohio; found that voters across the country are supportive of advanced energy solutions.
A majority of Colorado voters single out three sources of energy that they would want to encourage the use of in the state: solar (54 percent), natural gas (54 percent), and wind (53 percent). 72 percent of Coloradans agree that “rather than using more coal, we should move toward cleaner sources of energy,” a view held across party lines including Democrats (92 percent), Independents (75 percent) and a plurality of Republicans (48 percent to 38 percent).
Tax credits, including the wind energy PTC, continue to be a subject of debate in Washington, DC, and a majority (52 percent) say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate seeking to end the tax credits for wind and solar energy (34 percent much less likely), while 39 percent would be more supportive (and only 13 percent much more likely to support such a candidate). 70 percent of Colorado voters also support requiring utilities to get a greater share of their electricity from renewable sources.
These findings were largely consistent with similar polls in Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia that found energy was an important factor for voters in the 2012 election. Energy eclipsed perennial issues such as abortion and was on par with taxes and foreign policy. Voters preferred to encourage solar, wind, and natural gas rather than coal and other energy sources, and strong majorities in four states support continued government investment in clean energy.
“Policymakers take note: swing state voters support clean, renewable energy,” said Vice Admiral (ret.) Dennis McGinn, President and CEO of ACORE. “It is long past time to end the vilification of an industry that is creating jobs, attracting private investment, and contributing to our economic recovery. Clean energy is a business, not a political football, and it should be treated as a business.”
“This poll shows what we already know: Coloradans are strong supporters of clean, renewable energy and understand the value of the industry to our state,” said Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University. “Colorado is an advanced energy leader, and Coloradans across the political spectrum understand the value of clean energy industries to our state.”
This campaign season, Coloradans were inundated with millions of dollars of negative advertising that misrepresented the renewable energy industry. This polling is evidence that these political attacks did not fool voters.
“This isn’t about politics; it’s about business,” said Rick Leblanc, Chairman and CEO of Colorado-based Skyfuel. “The renewable energy industry provides affordable, reliable power that attracts private investment to Colorado, creates jobs, and contributes to our economic recovery.”
The bipartisan research team of Public Opinion Strategies (R) and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (D) conducted 400 interviews on Wednesday, November 7th, with voters in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Virginia who cast ballots in Tuesday's Presidential election. Interviews were conducted on landline and wireless phones. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 4.9%; margins of error for subgroups within the sample will be higher.
To learn more about the poll results, click here: http://bit.ly/QtCkm5
ACORE, a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization, is dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy. ACORE seeks to advance renewable energy through finance, policy, technology, and market development and is concentrating its member focus in 2012 on National Defense & Security, Power Generation & Infrastructure, and Transportation. Additional information is available at www.acore.org.