Conservative Support for Renewable Energy Growing

July 27, 2018


WRAL Raleigh North Carolina:

We asked whether voters would be more or less likely to support a legislator or candidate who favored renewable energy options like wind, solar, and biomass technologies. Results showed that 90 percent of registered Democrats supported such a candidate. No surprise there, you might say.

But how about this: 87 percent of unaffiliated voters and 79 percent of Republicans expressed support for clean energy. That’s right – almost eight in 10 Republican voters want their candidates to demonstrate support for renewable energy options.

Several years ago, policy debates involving renewable energy revolved around subsidies. Conservatives understandably balked at some policies that they thought picked “winners and losers.” With the technological gains of the past few years and the rapidly falling cost of solar and wind energy, renewables are now cost competitive with traditional fossil fuels. The debate has shifted significantly to allowing for market access, healthy competition and customer choice as to where, how and from whom you purchase your energy.

In fact, the poll found that on some issues, voters who describe themselves as conservatives outpace liberals in support for clean energy. When we tested voters’ thoughts on the recent Duke Energy rate cases, slightly more conservatives (53 percent) than liberals (47 percent) favored letting private companies directly enter the energy market in North Carolina, seeking the kind of market competition that benefits customers. In that same question, only 14 percent of conservatives said they supported Duke Energy’s $13.8 billion plan, which would raise bills to implement a number of projects – some helpful, some involving more routine maintenance and repairs.

And, when it comes to reducing regulation and allowing for more private-sector development of solar, wind, and biomass, Republicans again outpaced Democrats in support (85 percent to 79 percent).

In my opinion, and evidently in the opinion of many other North Carolina conservatives, support for clean energy is about support for economic development. It’s about strengthening our state’s economy and the overall business climate. It’s about the tenets that we as conservatives have been staking claim to for the life of our party, and it would be more surprising to me if the poll had not indicated conservative support for clean energy.

Wisconsin Public Radio:

More Republicans in Wisconsin say they’re getting excited about renewable energy.

While Democrats have traditionally led the fight for harvesting electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar, a few Republicans say they’re coming on board to the idea.

State Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, told attendees of the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair in Custer during the weekend that he looks at solar and wind installation companies as job creators.

“I see this as a big opportunity not only for the state, but for rural economic development. As this technology becomes more affordable, we’re gonna have the ability to become less dependent on foreign oil and other fossil fuels. So, I’m excited,” Testin said.

Joining Testin at the fair were representatives from two recently-formed groups in the state, the Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum and the Conservative Energy Network.

Tyler Huebner, of the longtime, pro-renewables group RENEW Wisconsin, said that he hopes the potential GOP allies can help remove economic barriers faced by some customers to wind and solar. He also said he hopes Republicans can help electric utilities retire more coal-fired power plants without socking it to ratepayers.

“If indeed the wind and the solar are cost competitive, then we don’t want the change out of the fleet to make customers have to pay more, ” Huebner said.

He said his group is looking at how other states are helping utilities deal with so-called “stranded assets,” which are past investments no longer able to turn a profit.



4 Responses to “Conservative Support for Renewable Energy Growing”

  1. J4Zonian Says:

    Until clean safe renewable energy can be sold to an overwhelming majority as part of a WWII-level emergency climate mobilization, it won’t be built at at least 10 times the speed it’s being built now. That’s the minimum speed that will prevent utter catastrophe; IF we do all the other things needed at the same time. Those things include reforestation, transformation of industry and agriculture, moving to a system centered on public EVs (rail, light rail, buses, jitneys and replacing flying and most private vehicles) transforming shipping, concrete and steel, and other aspects of our relationship to the rest of nature.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Doctor Obvious aka Jeffy4Z strikes again with his brilliant insights!

      Perhaps some day he will explain how we can accomplish his all-encompassing vision for the salvation of the human species and the planet. We are nibbling way at lots of little pieces of the problem—-I am, and I assume Jeffy is also, but that’s not going to get it done in time.

      Give us some real answers, Jeffy—-it’s getting tiresome watching you work your way through denial and bargaining but never getting to the other side.

  2. Sir Charles Says:

    Still a very long run to go…

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