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04/26/2012 01:58 PM     print story email story  

No Partisan Divide When It Comes to Renewables vs Fossil Fuels

SustainableBusiness.com News

Although the fossil fuel industry as been creating a partisan divide in the way we prioritize energy, a new survey shows there's actually no partisan among Americans when it comes to what we want for our energy future.

A vast majority of  Americans - 76% - want the U.S. to move to a sustainable energy future by "reducing our reliance on nuclear power, natural gas and coal, and instead, launch a national initiative to boost renewable energy and energy efficiency. 

88% of Democrats, 83% of Independents and 58% of Republicans agree with that statement. 

Then why don't we have a sustainable energy policy?

"The energy industry's extensive and well-financed public relations, campaign contributions and lobbying machine is a major barrier to moving beyond business as usual when it comes to America's energy policy." 

77% of Americans agree with that statement, including 85% of Democrats, 76% of Independents, and 70% of Republicans.

83% of Americans believe: "The time is now for a new, grassroots-driven politics to realize a renewable energy future. Congress is debating large public investments in energy and we need to take action to ensure that our taxpayer dollars support renewable energy - one that protects public health, promotes energy independence and the economic well being of all Americans." 95% of Democrats, 84% of Independents and 69% of Republicans agree. 

"Dirty energy companies and their lobbyists like to marginalize those of us who are working towards a cleaner energy future for the U.S. But the verdict of this survey is clear: We are the majority, not the ‘fringe' when it comes to how Americans of all political leanings view energy issues.

The truth is that those who are clinging to America's dirty energy past are the people who are way out of step with the American political mainstream. The survey shows that Republicans, Democrats and Independents can sit down and hammer out a U.S. energy future that makes sense; it's just that major energy companies are doing everything they can to keep common sense from prevailing," says Heather White, general counsel, Environmental Working Group.

Key survey results include:  

  • The term "Clean Energy Standard" should not include  nuclear energy, coal-fired power, and natural gas fracking: 66% of Americans: 75% of Democrats, 65% of Independents, 58% of Republicans.
  • Even with high gas prices, "energy development should be balanced with health and environmental concerns":   85% of Americans: 91% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, 76% of Republicans.
  • 68% of Americans think it's "a bad idea for the nation to ‘put on hold' progress towards cleaner energy sources during the current economic difficulty."
  • Federal spending on energy should focus on developing the energy sources of tomorrow, such as wind and solar, not those of yesterday, such as nuclear power": 73% of Americans.
  • Only 30% believe "political leaders should stay out of the energy markets and let private enterprise have a free hand in picking energy sources and setting prices.
  • Instead, 67% think "political leaders should help steer the U.S. to greater use of cleaner energy sources - such as increased efficiency, wind and solar - that result in fewer environmental and health damages."
  • 56% of Americans say they're aware of natural gas fracking, and 81% of them are concerned - including 47% who are "very concerned"- about its impact on water quality.
  • 80% of Americans think U.S. taxpayers and ratepayers should not "finance the construction of new nuclear power reactors in the U.S. through tens of billions of dollars in proposed new federal loan guarantees."
  • Instead, 76% would support "a shift of federal loan-guarantee support for energy away from nuclear reactors and towards renewable energy, such as wind and solar."

Here's the survey:

Website: www.civilsocietyinstitute.org/media/pdfs/042512%20CSI%20clean%20energy%20politics%20survey%20report%20FINAL2.pdf



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