WASHINGTON - March 8 - 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 today 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.
For an expanded summary of results, go to www.agenergy.info and www.25x'25.org.