Survey Indicates Strong Support for Renewable Energy

Findings from an executive summary published by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) of a national internet survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted in mid-February 2006 show broad support for renewable energy.

The research, which questioned four focus groups, was sponsored by the Energy Future Coalition for the 25 x ’25 Work Group, which aims for 25 percent of the nation’s energy to be produced by renewable resources by 2025. The Public Opinion Strategies’ report summary findings include: —Voters consider “energy” an important issue facing our country: A mean rating of 8.7 out of a ten point scale (with ten being very important) puts energy on a par with other issues such as health care (8.9), terrorism and national security (8.7), and education (8.7). —While voters consider energy an important issue, they do not perceive there to be an immediate crisis facing our country: Despite higher gas prices, a war in Iraq, and two hurricanes through the Gulf States in the last year, just over one-third of voters (35%) believe our country faces an energy crisis right now, compared to 50% who believe there may be a crisis sometime in the future. Another 15% believe we have no energy problem. —Voters’ confidence in American technology leads them to believe that our nation will find its way out of an impending energy crisis. Largely because of this immense confidence in our technological capabilities, voters are supportive of the 25 x ’25 goal: Overall, 90% of voters believe that the goal of having 25% of our domestic energy needs met by using renewable energy by the year 2025 is achievable. Voters also believe the goal of the initiative to be quite important. 98% of them see it as important for the country, and three out of four voters (74%) feel that the goal of the initiative is “very important.” —Voters support a new, bolder energy policy, even if it might cost billions of dollars more: Nine out of ten voters (91%) support the view that “the country is facing an energy crisis. Having reliable energy is fundamental to economic prosperity, our national security, and protecting the environment. We need more ambitious and creative thinking behind a new energy policy for the future.” —Voters support both financial incentives and government requirements on private companies to use renewable energy: Fully 88% of voters support incentives and 92% support minimum standards for the private sector’s use of renewable resources. —In communicating the goal of the initiative, arguments about oil dependence and national security, technological readiness, and environmental benefits are most effective: Voters readily connect our nation’s energy policy to promoting national security and economic development, and subscribe to the view that a new energy policy is technologically feasible.
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