Over 80% of the nation’s voters favor offshore wind energy, with widespread support coming from both major political parties and every demographic group across the country, according to a national survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies March 16 to 19, 2020 and released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
Voters across the board appreciate the benefits wind energy delivers, according to the survey, 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%).
“Voters are strongly in favor of offshore wind energy, regardless of ideology or party affiliation,” said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan. “Republicans and Democrats alike see offshore wind as playing a key role in the nation’s future energy portfolio, providing tremendous economic and environmental benefits and helping stabilize the cost of electricity.”
According to the poll, both Democrats and Republicans prefer wind to the increased use of coal, nuclear, or even natural gas. Voters currently believe both oil and natural gas and wind energy play an important role in the current economy (93% and 86%), 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 10 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.
Republicans find facts about offshore wind energy convincing. The offshore wind industry possesses a power potential of more than 2,000 GW, nearly double the nation’s current electricity use (76% convincing); the industry will support 83,000, well-paying jobs by 2030 (76% convincing); and the industry will drive $25 billion dollars per year in new economic activity by 2030 (71% convincing); and 76% of GOP voters believe that offshore wind energy is America’s new ocean energy resource.
Support for offshore wind also crosses party lines and is largely favored by voters across the country, not just in coastal states, with those in the South (90%) and the Midwest (89%) viewing it most favorably. Unlike other pressing economic and environmental issues, there are no generational divisions over how people feel about offshore wind. Voters across reporting generations all consistently express 83% to 88% favorability in their support for offshore wind.
Notably, those who identify politically as either very conservative (81%) or somewhat conservative (85%) align closely with those who lean moderate (84%) and liberal (92%) in their overall approval rating of offshore wind.
GOP voters are more likely to support offshore wind energy when hearing the industry creates well-paying, stable jobs and improved economic revitalization for port communities/coastal states (86%). In a close three-way tie at 85%, they believe offshore wind:
- Will protect the environment, since it doesn’t pollute the air and water, and greenhouse gases are not emitted when its used
- Provides long-term, low-cost, stabilized utility rates for consumers
- Is projected to be a $70 billion opportunity that could create up to 80,000 well-paying jobs by 2030
Support for wind energy is strong among voters who don’t identify as Republican or Democrat as well. Nearly 70% of independent voters marked that the United States needs to put more emphasis on wind energy and 82% of independents favor offshore wind energy specifically.
Support for offshore wind jumps five points (from 86% to 91% total favoring) and nine points in intensity (from 34% to 43% strongly favoring) after voters learn more about the industry.
“The strong bipartisan support for offshore wind among voters is very encouraging,” Kiernan said. “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.”
News item from AWEA
Filed Under: News