March 9, 2006

Americans Overwhelmingly Support Renewable Fuels Legislation

The battleground for moving the United States toward less dependence on foreign oil is taking place in state legislatures. The lack of leadership in California has been documented elsewhere on the BioConversion Blog. Unfortunately, politicians from other states are just as out of touch concerning the opinions and attitudes of their constituencies.

Wisconsin's Senate just defeated a modest proposal to mandate a 10% blend of ethanol in their gasoline after their Assembly and Governor supported it. In a classic response to the vote, Senator Plale of Wisconsin stated "“I am relieved that we were finally able to defeat this measure. I share the view of so many of my constituents that this legislation is simply not in best interests of consumers in the 7th Senate district.” That's inconsistent with what the survey below cites as an overwhelming support for just this kind of legislation by Americans nationally.

The status quo must be pretty bad if a Texas oil President is forced to admit our national "addiction to petroleum." So what alternatives do these state "leaders" offer to the status quo? Indications are that they better come up with some proposals quick - "Just Say No" isn't working.


New Survey Shows Overwhelming Support for Renewable Energy

Washington, D.C. - A new national public opinion survey demonstrates overwhelming public support for government policies and investments that will support development of renewable energy sources like solar, wind and ethanol.

"This survey underscores a major shift in public opinion," says Read Smith, co-chair of the 25 x '25 Work Group. "Americans want to invest in renewable energy right here at home so that we are less dependent on countries in unfriendly and unstable parts of the world."

The survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies of Alexandria, VA, for the Energy Future Coalition, a non-partisan public policy initiative that sponsored the research for the 25x'25 Work Group. Results were released on March 8th at the 25x'25 Agriculture and Forestry Renewable Energy Summit. Among the findings:

There is nearly unanimous support for a national goal of having 25% of our domestic energy needs met by renewable resources by the year 2025. Ninety-eight percent of voters see this goal as important for the country, and three out of four (74%) feel that it is "very important." Ninety percent of voters believe this goal is achievable.

Similar majorities support government action to encourage greater use of renewable energy. Eighty-eight percent of voters favor financial incentives, and 92% support minimum government standards for the use of renewable energy by the private sector.

Nearly all voters (98%) say the costs, such as the cost of research and development and the cost of building new renewable energy production facilities, would be worth it to move us toward the 25x'25 goal.

Voters consider energy to be an important issue facing the country, rating it similarly with health care, terrorism and national security, and education, and ahead of taxes and the war in Iraq. Half (50%) of voters believe America is headed for an energy crisis in the future, and 35% believe the country already is facing a crisis.

Voters see many convincing arguments for a shift to renewable energy – the need to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, protection of the environment for future generations, the readiness of these technologies to contribute today, and the opportunities they present to create new jobs, especially in rural communities.


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