Energy “Partisan Divide” Is A Myth

According to a new survey, those who believe clean energy support is divided among party lines are wrong.  Instead the survey found that the majority of Republicans, Independents and Democrats believe that the U.S. should transition away from dirty energy sources to clean energy sources.  The survey was conducted by OCR International on behalf of the Civil Society Institute (CSI).

One finding: 76 percent of Americans, including 58 percent Republicans, 88 percent Democrats and 83 percent Independents, said the U.S. should embrace sustainable energy through “a reduction in our reliance on nuclear power, natural gas and coal, and instead, launch a national initiative to boost renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

A few other interesting findings:

  • People don’t believe investment for clean energy should be put on hold during the economic crisis.
  • People believe the energy industry’s extensive and well funded public relations campaign, lobbying and campaign contributions are a major barrier to moving beyond business as usual when it comes to America’s energy policy.
  • People believe the time is now for a new, grassroots-driven politics to realize a renewable energy future.
  • People believe water use should be a factor in development of different types of clean energy.
  • People believe sources such as wind and solar should be developed before sources such as nuclear energy.

Another nugget I pulled out for our audience: “A majority of Americans (81%) think the other energy producing options should be explored first before biomass energy production is explored.” Only 14 percent are in favor of proceeding with biomass energy production before other options are explored.

A conclusion derived from the survey said Pam Solo, founder and president of Civil Society Institute, is that people are ready for leadership and they want a clean energy path that will protect public health including air and water. “Our survey is a call to action: Americans across the political spectrum think that it is time for decisive action toward a renewable energy future that will protect health and provide reliable and cost effective energy.”

“Americans believe the partisan gridlock can only be challenged by a grassroots-driven process that challenges the undue political influence of the fossil fuel and nuclear power interests,” added Solo.

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