US voters strongly favor offshore wind energy

Offshore Wind
New poll shows support among both political parties for offshore wind

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a national trade association for the U.S. wind industry, announced the results of a new nation poll showing that over 80% of the nation’s voters favor offshore wind energy. Both political parties and every demographic group across the U.S. support offshore wind, according to the survey.

The national survey was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies March 16-19, 2020 and released last week by AWEA.

Voters across the board appreciate the benefits wind energy delivers, with Republicans overwhelmingly viewing wind as a clean, renewable, affordable power source that also reduces carbon emissions (88%) and keeps utility costs stable, while providing critical power to America’s densely populated areas (80%). 

AWEA said that both Democrats and Republicans prefer wind to the increased use of coal, nuclear or natural gas. Voters currently believe both oil and natural gas and wind energy play an important role in today’s economy (93% and 86%, respectively), with more than half of Republican voters saying the United States should put more emphasis on producing domestic energy from both wind and solar (58% and 66%) than other forms of energy. A majority of voters think the wind energy industry will be more important to the country’s economy than oil and natural gas ten years from now (57% to 43%). And 85% of voters agree wind energy is a clean, renewable, and affordable power source of the future, including 80% of Republicans.

The offshore wind industry possesses a power potential of more than 2,000 GW, nearly double the nation’s current electricity use. AWEA estimates that the industry will support 83,000 jobs by 2030 and that it will drive $25 billion dollars per year in new economic activity by 2030.

Support for offshore wind is favored across the country, not just in coastal states. With 90% of those in the South and 89% of those in the Midwest viewing it the most favorably. There are also no generational divisions on the issue.

Additionally, those who identify as conservative, moderate or liberal all are in high percent ages for their overall approval rating of offshore wind.

Republicans strongly believe that offshore wind:

  • Will protect the environment, since it doesn’t pollute the air and water, and greenhouse gases are not emitted when its used.
  • Provide long-term, low-cost, stabilized utility rates for consumers.
  • Aim to be a $70 billion opportunity that could create up to 80,000 jobs by 2030.

Support is strong for Independents as well; 70% say the U.S. needs to put more emphasis on wind energy and 82% of Independents favor offshore wind energy specifically. Support for offshore jumps after voters learn more about the industry.

“The strong bipartisan support for offshore wind among voters is very encouraging,” said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan. “Consumers clearly see that offshore wind provides significant environmental benefits and will serve as a real economic game-changer in the coming years, helping the nation recover and adding family-supporting jobs where they’re needed most at the local level following the coronavirus pandemic.”

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