Polling affirms that, even after a year of political attacks on the industry, Ohioans support cleaner energy sources
Columbus, OH— The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Advanced Energy Economy Ohio Institute (AEE Ohio) released a new poll today that found Ohio voters—arguably the most important constituency in the 2012 Presidential race—are strongly supportive of clean, secure, and affordable energy. The findings of this poll, along with similar polls conducted in Virginia, Iowa, and Colorado, demonstrate that swing state voters understand the benefits of advanced energy.
A majority of Ohio voters in the presidential election (62 percent) say they would encourage natural gas as an energy source, followed by wind power (46 percent) and solar power (46 percent). Coal ranked fourth for voters, and 69 percent agree that “rather than using more coal, we should move toward cleaner sources of energy,” a view held across key sub-groups including independents (69 percent), moderates (76 percent), and women under the age of 50 (84 percent).
Tax credits, including the wind energy PTC, continue to be a subject of debate in Washington, DC, and 56 percent say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate seeking to end tax credits for wind and solar (30 percent much less likely), while 38 percent would be more supportive (and only 19 percent much more likely to support such a candidate). 67 percent of Ohio 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 majorities in four states support continued government investment in clean energy and requirements for utilities to increase use of renewable 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 business.”
Energy was front and center in the Presidential race in Ohio. An analysis by AEE Ohio Institute found that over 28,511 campaign commercials referenced energy. These results are especially meaningful in the aftermath of the 2012 election, when advanced energy opponents spent millions of dollars undermining the industry. The analysis also found that 5,783 political advertisements ran in Ohio specifically attacking Solyndra—an example opponents have used to proclaim that the advanced energy industry is a failure.
“Ohio voters played a key role in deciding this election, and this poll shows that Ohio voters support clean, secure, and affordable energy,” said Michelle Murcia, President of Advanced Energy Economy Ohio Institute, which released the poll with ACORE in Ohio. “We look forward to working with our elected officials to build and foster a robust advanced energy economy here in Ohio, and around the country, that will drive innovation and position the United States to be a global energy leader.”
Advanced energy has a strong base of support in the state, and this poll reaffirms another released by AEE Ohio Institute this summer that showed 83% of Ohioans believe advanced energy is “very important or somewhat important to America’s future.”
“With more than 25,000 Ohioans employed in this industry, advanced energy is a vital part of our state’s economy,” said Eric Zimmer, President of Tipping Point Renewable Energy and AEE Ohio Institute’s Chairman of the Board. “Voters understand the importance of a smart energy future and want to see Ohio’s growing industry succeed.”
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.
About Advanced Energy Economy Ohio Institute:
Advanced Energy Economy Ohio Institute (AEE Ohio Institute), a not-for-profit educational organization that promotes greater public understanding of advanced energy and its economic potential for Ohio. The Institute is dedicated to informing the energy policy debate with well-researched, fact-based data on the advanced energy economy in Ohio and by providing a public forum where state and local leaders can address Ohio’s energy challenges for the future.