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Poll: Wisconsin Voters Overwhelmingly Support Clean Energy

PHOTO: Rather than see their air polluted by burning fossil fuels, a new poll shows Wisconsin voters strongly favor the state mandating use of more renewable energy resources. Photo courtesy of Clean Wisconsin.
PHOTO: Rather than see their air polluted by burning fossil fuels, a new poll shows Wisconsin voters strongly favor the state mandating use of more renewable energy resources. Photo courtesy of Clean Wisconsin.
September 15, 2014

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin voters are all about clean energy, no matter what their political views; that's the finding of a recent poll, conducted jointly by a democratic-and-republican research team. Keith Reopelle is senior policy director with the state's largest environmental group, Clean Wisconsin.

"Voters in Wisconsin really want to see the state get more of its energy from clean-energy sources such as wind power, solar power, bioenergy, and energy efficiency," Reopelle says. "Overwhelming majorities of voters would like to see us utilize these clean resources more."

The poll said 88 percent of Wisconsin voters support an increase in solar energy use, and similar figures were recorded for biomass energy and wind power. Reopelle says voters also clearly believe using more renewable energy would lead to more jobs in Wisconsin.

"When you ask the question about energy efficiency and jobs, it's really a landslide," Reopelle says. "Seventy-four percent of all respondents said they believe investing in energy efficiency will create more jobs in Wisconsin, whereas only four percent said it will cost Wisconsin jobs."

According to Reopelle, voters have seen clean energy has the potential to hold costs down and create jobs. He says those running for political office ignore this fact at their own peril.

"The candidates for the gubernatorial race, candidates for state Senate and Assembly really are well-served if they start talking to voters about how they can create more economic development and more jobs through clean energy."

Research from Clean Wisconsin indicates the state currently spends more than $12 billion a year to import fossil fuels.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI