Friday, June 18, 2010

More Polling Shows Public Support for Renewable Energy

Pew Research has new poll out with some interesting findings on attitudes on energy and the environment. Respondents favor requiring utilities to produce more energy from wind, solar or other renewable sources and tougher efficiency standards for building and major appliances.

Delaware already has laws to do these things. We have a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in place, which Senate Bill 119 is designed to strengthen. A substitute bill has been introduced and will be brought to the Senate floor next week. Last year, Delaware enacted laws to strengthen energy efficiency for new home construction and reduce energy demand through efficiency. And of course the approval of the NRG Bluewater Wind project will be an historic step forward on adopting green energy.

The poll also found the the public favors limits on carbon dioxide emissions by more than two to one (66 percent to 29 percent, which is consistent with other recent polling on the subject:
By the way, Delaware already participates in a cap and trade program to limit CO2 emissions, called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI.

On the other hand, 68 percent favor expanded exploration and development of coal, oil and gas. If Obama seems inconsistent on the subject, having voiced his support for limited expansion of offshore drilling, then much of the country is as well.

Here's the interesting finding: a majority thinks it's more important to protect the environment than keep energy prices low:

Most Delawareans didn't seem to mind the modest increase in rates projected from the Bluewater Wind project. But the other programs Delaware has adopted, like the RPS and RGGI, haven't yet led to any significant increase in energy prices.

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