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Published on February 27th, 2013 | by Jake Richardson

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Majority Of Ohio Voters Support Renewable Energy

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February 27th, 2013 by  

A new statewide public opinion poll has produced data showing most of Ohio voters agree there should be laws requiring some portion of local energy to be generated from clean sources, such as wind and solar. To be more specific, the poll found almost 80% of voters support legally requiring clean energy in Ohio. About 75% support increasing the total number of wind farms. Nearly 60% would pay an extra $3 a month on a $100 dollar energy bill to support the development of electricity from clean sources. About 66% support the state of Ohio’s energy policy which promotes clean energy in order to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Ohio_Statehouse_columbusPerhaps even in more telling is the fact that 65% said they have total support for clean energy. Here is the energy question associated with this figure as it was stated in the poll:

“As you may or may not know, Ohio has a law that requires a certain portion of the electric power sold in the state be produced by clean energy sources, such as wind and solar power.

The law was passed to promote new sources of clean energy and make Ohio less dependent on fossil fuel energy sources like coal and natural gas. Do you support or oppose this law?

Would you say that you strongly support/oppose this law, or just somewhat support/oppose it?

As mentioned above, 65% said they have total support, with another 35% saying their support is strong.

Still, there is some opposition, particularly from the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Republican state Sen. Kris Jordan is an ALEC member who has introduced a bill to repeal Ohio’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard. This standard means utilities have to get 25% of their electricity from alternative or renewable sources by 2025. Considering there are still twelve years to reach the goal, it does not seem like an unreasonable target. Combined with the fact that most Ohio voters are for clean energy, it doesn’t appear to be quite enough. So opposing it seems like sheer folly.

Politifact reported Jordan spoke out on behalf of legislation that would open state parkland to drilling for fracking. Some conservatives that oppose clean energy development have ties to the petroleum industry, or are directly involved with it.

Image Credit: Alexander Smith, Wiki Commons

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  • Otis11

    “Perhaps even in more telling is that fact 65%” => Consider revising?

    “As mentioned above, 65% said they have total support, with another 35% saying their support is strong. So, 90% support overall for clean energy is very impressive.” => 65%+35% = 100%, but even with the math correct this is incorrect. That 35% is a subset of the 65%, not in addition to it…

  • http://twitter.com/toddwynn Todd Wynn

    The truth of the matter is that people are supportive of advancing and investing in renewable energy as long as they are not forced to pay for it.

    Renewable energy mandates embed the higher cost of renewable energy into electricity rates (or, in the case of subsidies, into tax rates), making it difficult for
    electricity consumers to even see the precise cost impacts of integrating
    renewable energy onto the electricity grid.

    When asked about directly paying a higher cost for electricity, the public support
    for these policies wanes significantly. A Financial Times/Harris Poll surveyed
    household members who pay the electricity bill in France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Italy and the United States. The first question asked, “How much do you [favor] or oppose a large increase in the number of wind farms in [your country]?” 87 percent of U.S. respondents marked either “favor
    more than oppose” or “strongly favor.”

    The respondents were then asked “How much of an increase would you be willing
    to pay at the most, for energy if it were from renewable resources?” Out of the
    U.S. respondents, 34 percent said “nothing more” and 17 percent said up to 5
    percent more. If the cost of electricity were to increase to 20 percent,
    support for renewable energy plummets to a mere 5 percent of respondents.

    However, even if one assumes that many Americans truly value
    and are able and willing to pay for renewable energy, it does not justify
    forcing a segment of the population that may not.

    Lastly, if people truly support renewable energy then why would a mandate be
    needed in the first place?

    • slean guy

      you could ask those last two questions of fossil fuel. but since most respondents would like renewable s i am sure you would not like the answers

    • slean guy

      Todd, by the way have you ever heard of master limited partnerships; a big tax credit that goes to owners of oil and natural gas pipeline and storage assets to the tune of 10’s of billions per year in lost treasury revenues or sweet heart deals lacking royalty payments for another 7.3 billion annually. We are talking about industries that have been around for over a century and why do they need tax breaks and subsidies?

      • Joe Murtaugh

        To pay for shills and hacks like Todd Wynn and Brodeur.

        • slean guy

          Thanks Joe ; you get it. these guys start conversations to get a reaction by saying stupid things

        • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

          haha, nice table turning. ;)

    • Otis11

      A few problems – First, renewables are not significantly more expensive than traditional energy sources, if at all, even without subsidies. They are also becoming more and more economical every day, and have the built in insurance of constant, predictable costs decades into the future. (well, an established maximum cost, they could also have a technical breakthrough that would significantly decrease the cost of electricity) This also completely ignores the fact of externalities produced by the FFs.

      “even if one assumes that many Americans truly valueand are able and willing to pay for renewable energy, it does not justify
      forcing a segment of the population that may not.”

      But on the flip side, “even if one assumes that many Americans are willing to deal with the pollution of Fossil Fuels, it does not justify forcing a segment of the population that may not.”

      How do you answer that part?

      The problem for renewables is not a lack of support from the public, nor a lack of economically or technically feasible methods to carry it out. It is simply the newcomer and the incumbent does not want to change.

      • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

        Ah, yes, that was the 4th point I wanted to make in response to Todd!

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Todd:

      1- yes, many polls have been conducted on how much more people would pay for clean energy, and the results are positive.
      2- this is probably because somewhere in their heads, people realize they are paying a ton for dirty energy in health bills, sickness, and even early death.
      3- the subsidies for dirty energy are tremendous. pretending like they are not is a scam/BS.
      http://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/07/energy-subsidies-clean-energy-subsidies-fossil-fuel-subsidies/ http://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/07/oil-subsidies-natural-gas-subsidies/

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