Originally published on Into the Wind.
By Peebles Squire
It’s official: Ohioans are big fans of clean energy, according to the results of a new survey released last Wednesday and summarized in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Out of 600 Ohio voters surveyed, 72 percent responded that they favored renewable energy sources over more traditional forms of energy. When asked if they were “strongly in favor,” 52 percent responded in the affirmative.
That’s right: more than half of Ohioans want to see more clean energy like wind power in their state.
What’s more, a whopping 86 percent of voters support utility energy efficiency rules, with 49 percent strongly in favor. The Ohio Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) contains just such a rule, so why is the Ohio Senate trying to stop it dead in its tracks?
“[R]elative to other polling we have done in Ohio and around the country, these results are consistent in the strong support that Ohio voters offer for more use of clean energy and greater use of energy efficiency,” said [polling firm FM3’s David] Metz during a news conference.
Opponents of clean energy and energy efficiency are fighting tooth-and-nail to put a freeze on the AEPS, a proven driver of jobs and manufacturing. Maybe it’s time for those opponents to listen to their constituents and help solidify Ohio’s status as a clean energy hub.
An Ohio wind turbine. Credit: Wikipedia user Fogonthedowns.
Ohio Advanced Energy Economy, which commissioned the survey, thinks the legislature should consider the AEPS’s benefits and the will of the electorate:
“Ohio is home to some 400 advanced energy companies employing 25,000 Ohioans,” said Ted Ford, president and CEO of Ohio AEE. “Ohio’s clean energy law is working. It’s saving money for consumers, creating jobs, and making Ohio competitive. And now, we can demonstrate that the voting public strongly supports it, too.”
And when asked what percentage of Ohio’s energy should come from wind and solar, on average, Ohioans said they would like to see a majority of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources, as much as 56 percent, said Metz.
The AEPS has helped revitalize Ohio’s manufacturing sector. The Buckeye State is the top location nationwide for manufacturers along the wind energy supply chain, with more than 60 factories churning out the complex tools and equipment needed to build and maintain wind turbines.
Ohio wind power represents a private investment of $775 million, and through smart policies like the AEPS, that number will continue to grow as the state hones its clean energy industry, driving more efficient, competitive technologies that are transforming the way we power the country.
The AEPS is a good deal for Ohioans, helping provide thousands of skilled, well-paying jobs, while saving consumers money through innovation and improved efficiency.
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