Boston, Massachusetts [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] According to a new statewide survey, solid majorities of Massachusetts residents — including Republicans, Independents and those who live on the Cape and on the Islands — said they want the Bay State to emerge as a national leader in renewable energy, including wind power projects such as Cape Wind.
The new Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) poll for the Newton-based Civil Society Institute also looks at the attitudes of state residents about coal-fired power plants, nuclear power, and the federal vehicle fuel-efficiency standards that Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey is now shepherding through Congress.
The scientific survey found that nine out of 10 Massachusetts residents (93 percent) —including 78 percent of those who live on the Cape and on the Islands—agree that the state should be “a national leader in using cleaner and renewable energy on a large scale by moving ahead with offshore wind power” and other clean energy initiatives. The statement is supported on a bipartisan basis by Republicans (94 percent), Democrats (93 percent), and Independents (93 percent).
More than four out of five Massachusetts residents (84 percent)—including 58 percent of those who live on the Cape and on the Islands—explicitly support “the proposed Cape Wind offshore wind farm that would involve wind turbines being placed in Nantucket Sound about five and a half miles from the Town of Hyannis.”
These numbers are virtually unchanged from a June 2006 Civil Society Institute (CSI) survey that posed the same question and found 81 percent support statewide and 61 percent in Cape Cod/the Islands (the latter of which is within the 2006 survey’s margin of error). Republican support for Cape Wind is at 82 percent, Democrats at 86 percent and Independents at 81 percent.
Another key finding: 88 percent of Massachusetts residents think that Massachusetts Governor Devil Patrick should follow the lead of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger “when it comes to state government leadership on global warming solutions and the promotion of clean, renewable energy.”
Civil Society Institute President and Founder Pam Solo said: “I would encourage Governor Patrick, Senator Kennedy, Senator Kerry, Representative Markey and the rest of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to look closely at these survey findings. The notion that wind power and the other clean energy sources are dividing lines in Massachusetts either in terms of politics or region … or both … is an entirely mistaken and counterproductive idea. Instead, what we see in this survey is a clear example of Massachusetts citizens ‘leading the leaders.’
Survey results are based on telephone interviews conducted among a sample of 600 adults aged 18 and over living in private households in the Massachusetts. Interviewing was completed by Opinion Research Corporation during the period of July 25-August 2, 2007.