Despite Election: No Divide on Renewable Energy

November 9, 2016



This election has awakened a giant.

American Wind Energy Association:

In the home stretch of the election cycle, with political polls continuing to fluctuate, one thing has remained constant throughout the entire campaign: Americans agree they want more clean energy, and wind energy in particular.

Earlier this week, one of the gold standards in U.S. polling released a new survey right in line with what we’ve been seeing since the spring. The Pew Research Center found 77 percent of Donald Trump’s supporters and 88 percent of Hillary Clinton’s supporters want more wind farms built in the U.S.

This trend began in the spring, when Wall Street investment firm Lazard, Inc. found 91 percent of likely voters support growing wind power, including 81 percent of self-described conservatives

Over the next several months, other surveys confirmed these findings, regardless of geographical location or political leanings. Results were similar in states as diverse as New York and Texas. 89 percent of New Yorkers want more wind energy, according to a Nature Conservancy poll, while 85 percent of Texans responded the same way in a poll conducted by a nonpartisan group that supports both natural gas and renewable energy.

Then there’s Iowa, whose residents know wind energy as well as anyone since the state has the most installed wind power by area in the country. In a poll of the Third District, 91 percent of voters supported wind, demonstrating the more people know about wind, the more they like it.

That’s not too surprising. Wind energy provides a financial boost for communities that host the turbines. In Van Wert County, Ohio, for example, the extra tax base paid for laptops for every student; fully funded the laptop repair and replacement fund; and built a new athletic center that was opened to every county resident.

It’s good for everyone who pays an electric bill, too. Wind-generated electricity has come down in cost by two-thirds in six years, and now saves consumers billions of dollars a year on each of the regional electric grids in America.

In a time of division, wind power continues to be an issue that unites Americans.

Young Conservatives for Energy Reform:

WASHINGTON—Hundreds of grassroots activists from across the country gathered on Capitol Hill today for the nation’s largest conservative clean-energy event. Their message: Conservatives want clean energy – and they want their representatives in Congress to lead on this issue.

The crowd skewed young, with most of the attendees under 40, and organizers say that’s something political leaders should pay attention to.

“For young conservatives, clean and efficient energy isn’t something fringe or futuristic. It’s a regular and growing part of their lives, and they want their elected leaders to support renewable energy in common-sense ways that grow the economy, promote energy independence and defend American families from pollution,” said Michele Combs, founder and chair of Young Conservatives for Energy Reform, which co-hosted the event with the Christian Coalition.

Scheduled speakers included Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colorado), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Dean Heller (R-Nevada). Also on the roster: Representatives Chris Gibson (R-New York), Leonard Lance (R-New Jersey), Tom Reed (R-New York), Mark Sanford (R-South Carolina), and David Young (R-Iowa). Business leaders, pollsters, and academics also spoke. Attendees heard that clean energy is growing the economy and creating jobs in state after state.

“The cost of wind power has dropped two-thirds over six years, and much the same can be said of solar and other renewables. Clean energy is now growing faster than any other form of energy in the world,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, which sponsored the event along with Defend Our Future, the Solar Energy Industries Association and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions.

“The U.S. is blessed with abundant wind resources and American wind turbines are among the most efficient in the world,” Kiernan said. “Polls show Americans strongly support clean energy and if America doesn’t lead, we stand to lose out on a huge multi-trillion dollar opportunity in the global clean energy market. As a Republican, a business leader, and an American, I want to see this success story continue.”

That enthusiasm for clean energy is shared by conservative Americans under 35, according to a new poll of 940 young conservative voters across the country. The survey, commissioned by Young Conservatives for Energy Reform (YC4ER), found broad support for renewable energy in general, and policies that support it in particular.

Among the young conservatives polled, 73 percent have a favorable view of the renewable energy industry. That’s more than have a favorable view of the natural gas (67 percent), coal (56 percent), or nuclear (52 percent) industries. The renewable energy sector also scored more favorably than the Environmental Protection Agency (59 percent favorable) and environmental groups such as the Sierra Club (57 percent favorable).

Among the young conservative voters polled:

  • 72 percent favor encouraging the private sector to solve energy problems through innovation and technology while blocking any top-down, one-size-fits-all approach from the federal government (33 percent strongly support; 39 percent somewhat support).
  • 67 percent favor tax credits or subsidies for clean energy research and development (25 percent strongly support; 42 percent somewhat support).
  • 66 percent favor tax credits or subsidies for investments in energy efficiency (29 percent strongly support, 37 percent somewhat support).





16 Responses to “Despite Election: No Divide on Renewable Energy”

  1. andrewfez Says:

    For my part it’s hard to become awoke, after having slept little last night secondary to fear of no progress in Washington for four years at a time when it is needed most, and the selfsame trajectory for the market. This was not some ambiguous irk or political distaste, but rather a full bore survival instinct related effect, suffuse with adrenaline and over pronounced heart strokes.

    We are in a race with China and the European Union to convert to clean energy, and whoever makes it to significant goals first wins economic stability devoid of destructive volatility caused by commodity price fluctuations, and of the financial ball and chain of health and property damage from pollution. The EU has for fifty years or more matched the US on GDP growth, even pulling ahead in recent years. If they win, we, to a significant degree, lose.

  2. “the gold standards in U.S. polling” my f**en ass!

    • Tom Bates Says:

      The guy advocates thugs breaking yup things like the anti pipeline movement which is just like the anti telescope movement in Hawaii, A bunch of loonies who are thugs beating up on people. Those thugs need to be in jail.

  3. indy222 Says:

    Great. People want more wind and solar. Unfortunately, Congress and the rest of the law-makers don’t give a damn about what the average voter wants. ZERO correlation between what laws are enacted and what the average citizen wants (Gilens and Page 2014). The law-makers only care about what the sector they called the “Economic Elites” want. Near perfect correlation for that segment. Now, what do THEY want? They want an end to subsidies supporting wind and solar. They’ve now got Congress, Executive and (soon) the Supreme Court to begin the wholesale dismantling of the EPA, subsidies for alternative energy, and full speed ahead on growth. “Welcome to the Future”.

    • Tom Bates Says:

      People have been lied to about the costs and benefits of solar and wind. The plants operate at most about one third of the time, the rest of the time they sit idle which means the power they produce is 3 times the cost of a plant operating all the time at full capacity for the fixed costs. The only actual saving is in the cost of fuel which is zero for both. The result is solar and wind power are always more costly than alternate sources of energy. Germany electricity costs to the homeowner are about twice that of the USA due to those fixed costs from solar and wind built into German electricity rates, If you pay 100 dollars they pay 200 dollars a month.

      • BS! Germans consume only a third as much electricity as Americans do. Their power bills are thus a bit smaller.

      • toddinnorway Says:

        People have been lied to about the COST OF FOSSIL FUELS. The Iraq war, which was started to secure our influence over the supply of oil, COST 3 TRILLION DOLLARS AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, PERHAPS MILLIONS, OF LIVES. Furthermore, oil income WE PAY TO OPEC FOR THEIR OIL IS THE MAIN SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR ISLAMIC TERRORISM AND CONFLICT BETWEEN STATES IN THE MIDDLE EAST. The heavy oil industry in Alberta has turned hundreds of square kilometers of pristine arctic landscape INTO A GIANT TOXIC WASTELAND FITTING FOR THE SCARIEST DYSTOPIC HOLLYWOOD SCIENCE FICTION MOVIES.

        The coal industry is destroying entire pristine mountain and valley landscapes IN THE HEART OF THE UNITED STATES, AND THEY DO NOT PAY EVEN CLOSE TO WHAT THIS DAMAGE IS DOING to landscapes, drinking water supplies, degraded health due to dust from blasting, etc. Reference: “MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVAL”. Coal trains must run without a cover on their coal cars to avoid explosions, so THEY SPEW COAL DUST over thousands of homes, farms and rural landscapes they run through DAILY.

        And yes, the fossil fuel industry DOES NOT PAY FOR THE CLIMATE CHANGE DAMAGE IT IS CAUSING. Freakishly large and uncontrollable forest fires this summer, which were beyond a scale ever seen in Alberta, FORCED TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TO FLEE FOR THEIR LIVES TO AVOID DEATH BY WILDFIRE.

        The result is that latest-generation PV and wind are almost ALWAYS LOWER COST THAN NEW FOSSIL FUEL SOURCES.

        There, I fixed your post for you, Mr. Bates. You are welcome.

  4. Tom Bates Says:

    I am an average citizen who falls to see why my tax dollars as tax credits should go to somebody else 60000 dollar electric car or to put a solar array on some millionaires house. If somebody wants to buy that car or that solar array and has the money, more power to them.

    As far as wind power is concerned when the eco folks see that tower is going to be in their back yard they hire a lawyer. Since wind power is more expensive than the alternate, all those deals with the power company mean my electric bill is going up to benefit somebody else like Al Gore who has a lot more money than I. Let him build his wind farm and sell the power at market rates.

    It is a scam, a scam you folks have bought into based on a bunch of half truths, outright lies and distortions of the data. If you had simply been honest and said the coal power plant emits a lot of pollution which kills people let’s replace it with another power source even if it costs more, Trump would not be president and the coal plant would have been shut down.

    • andrewfez Says:

      It’s not your tax dollars going to buy someone else something; it’s them getting a lower tax rate, like a hedge fund manager or a real estate tycoon.

      I thought you were against people paying taxes?

  5. Do these American voters, ignored or otherwise, realize that there has to be fossil-fuel powered back-up power stations for every wind array built? ‘Cos when the wind don’t blow the power has to come from somewhere. The economics of building BOTH a power station AND a wind farm for a given supply need seem very doubtful. Moreover, the wind supply has to be subsidized by the tax-payer! Sounds to me like the economics of the madhouse.

    • andrewfez Says:

      Wind can also be balanced by hydro. In the future we will have a 3x load overbuild of wind with about 9-72h worth of storage. Some of the storage will come from vehicle batteries, other parts will be grid scale batteries (which for PJM – an east coast grid – will cost about $100B or what we gave to Afghanistan to rebuild).

      In my home state the government gave away $300M to build a gas pipeline recently and the new governor wants to use state money to fund a new $1B coal plant even though we already have 10 major ones, 5 of which supply energy to other states because of oversupply.

      I agree though – take away ALL subsidies from all energy – no more cheap airfare, no more cheap food from subsidized fuel prices – no more nuclear energy, ever, because those are historically the biggest energy welfare queens of all, if you don’t count the 7 trillion dollar Iraq War meant to privatize a large % of the oil market.

      We should also open up the liability laws to allow for states and health ins. companies to sue the coal industry for the $300-500B/yr health and property damage costs they cause – make the end users pay the real price of coal electricity: $0.30 to $0.40/kwh. And in places like KY and WV where the coal industry costs more to the state than it brings in in revenue – again open up the liability laws and let the state sue to recover the costs of fixing roads the coal trucks tear up, or other stuff the mining operations tear up. These states subsidize coal to the tune of $100M/yr per state now.

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        Wind can be backed up by wind, too – wind generated somewhere else. And it can be backed up by solar, and hydro, and tide, and geothermal, and solar-thermal, and nuclear.

        P.I.S.’s assertion that “there has to be fossil-fuel powered back-up power stations for every wind array built” is complete, utter, total, absolute, comprehensive bollocks.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      “Moreover, the wind supply has to be subsidized by the tax-payer! ”

      Oh my God! You made me drop my pearls!!

      I am certain I am not the first to point out to you, that you are not very good at all at paying attention to details?

      Like the teensy weensy itty-bitty detail that fossil fuels have/are/will continue to be subsidized to the tune of trillions of dollars, not including the 1000’s of trillions of dollars of environmental damage the produce?

  6. dumboldguy Says:

    Nice discussion you’re having folks, even if Master Bates is part of it. And I guess we can continue our navel-gazing until The Hump is inaugurated. Only then will we be able to see the likely future reality of so many things.

    And has everyone noticed that RE stocks are down, as is Tesla, while fossil fuel (and especially coal) are up? Andy Lee said “divest” on another thread. Yup, the “smart” money will now be divesting from RE and buying coal and oil. After all, the only “smartness” that counts is how much $$$$$ you can make in the short term, no matter who you hurt.

    • andrewfez Says:

      I read an article on Seeking Alpha months ago about buying bonds issued by one of those coal companies in bankruptcy and whilst most of the investment community is smart enough to stay away from such (as evidenced by the comment section below the article) there were several denialists buying these bonds. Generally there is a positive correlation between solar stock prices and those of oil and gas, where the latter can pull the former around with it. But I’ll have to start examining if there is a divergence happening – if the market is pricing in subsidy cuts or perceived effects of subsidy cuts. I’m long several of the big players, but haven’t been investing as of late because everything is so overpriced, but i did notice FSLR is at an attractive price right now, were a recession not overdue.

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