WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2016 - A majority of Americans support clean energy development, according to a polling report released by Conservative Energy Network (CEN).  

CEN was launched in 2016 “by conservatives, for conservatives,” to support and connect state-based conservative clean energy and energy efficiency organizations throughout the U.S.

The organization’s post-election poll shows that, across all ideologies, most voters find value in national and statewide policies that encourage the generation and use of electricity from renewable and clean energy sources.

“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,” says Mark Pischea, executive director of CEN.

The “all-of the-above” energy approach includes the development of alternative energy sources such, as wind, solar, hydropower, nuclear, geothermal and biomass.

Some 88 percent of the 1,000 voters surveyed nationwide said they would likely oppose a candidate who does not support development and use of clean energy sources.

A majority of voters, some 80 percent, also indicated they feel that it is important for elected officials to share their views on energy.

“Clean energy provides a critical path toward growing state economies and job creation, especially in innovation-driven states,” Pischea asserts.

Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies, which conducted the poll, says that a majority of voters “get the importance” of encouraging our nation’s clean energy transition – “even if many politicians do not.”

The poll found overwhelming support for renewable energy projects such as community solar and policies like net metering, Bolger said.

John Karakoulakis of The Western Way, a regional organization that urges conservative leaders in Western states to engage on environmental and energy challenges, contends that “it is time for conservatives to reject the false label that we are anti-environment or anti-renewables.”

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“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,” Karakoulakis says.

Key findings from the survey:

  •  Seventy percent of voters surveyed think the U.S. should put more emphasis on wind production and 76 percent support increased solar production.
  • More than half those polled think the U.S. should put less emphasis on coal.
  •  Republican, Democrat and Independent voters all demonstrate strong support for adoption of an “energy optimization” standard in their state, under which utilities are required to help customers reduce energy consumption through energy efficiency programs and products.

Mike Franklin, consultant to the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum, said he feels that clean energy represents an opportunity for the Republican Party to build a bridge to key independent voters such as millennials, the college-educated and minorities that are critical to the party’s ability to win elections in the future.

To view the poll, click here.


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