New Poll Finds NY Voters Overwhelmingly Support Clean Energy and Willing to Pay More

Results show voters want to transition to renewables over dirty fossil fuels statewide

Albany, NY –(ENEWSPF)–September 27, 2012. A new poll released today by Public Policy Partners (PPP) shows than an overwhelming percentage of New York voters favor clean, renewable energy sources to power the state. The poll comes out just as the Long Island Power Authority is deciding on new energy contracts that could include offshore wind, and just after NYISO released their “Reliability Needs Assessment” report showing New York could safely retire its remaining coal plants and reliably meet energy needs with clean energy and efficiency. The telephone poll reached 601 voters statewide and 383 voters on Long Island by telephone from September 18th-21st.  

“The results of this poll are remarkable,” said Lisa Dix, Senior New York Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club. “We know that across the nation support for clean energy is high, but here in New York, nearly 9 out of 10 voters support expanding use of clean energy resources like wind and solar. New York’s leaders and utilities should take note: New Yorkers want clean energy.”

According to the poll an overwhelming majority of voters, nearly 9 out of 10, support expanding the use of clean, renewable energy like wind and solar power (87% statewide and 90% on Long Island) and the majority support the state’s utilities investing in new clean energy rather than building new fossil fuel plants to meet future energy needs (76% statewide and 78% on Long Island).

Next week the Long Island Power Authority is expected to announce plans for how to proceed with contracts for future power generation. The poll showed that the majority of voters statewide and in Long Island would support an offshore wind farm 12 to 15 miles off the coast of Long Island (82% statewide and 85% on Long Island). Furthermore, 8 out of 10 Long Islanders would be willing to pay more for clean energy from offshore wind if it meant transitioning away from dirty energy sources like coal, natural gas and nuclear power.

Similarly, the majority of voters (68%) said they would rather see New York invest in clean energy than provide a bailout for the state’s aging and uneconomical coal plants.

“On Long Island and throughout New York, we know we can do better than dirty, polluting power plants. We’re ready to start building the clean energy economy right here. We need Governor Cuomo and LIPA to listen to Long Island residents and voters and show actual leadership by choosing clean energy for our homes and businesses,” said Peter Gollon, volunteer Energy Chair with the Long Island Sierra Club.

Currently, both LIPA and the State of New York are failing to meet the state’s renewable energy goal of obtaining 30% of its energy from renewable sources by 2015, even though the poll shows meeting these goals is important to 84% of voters. Investing in local offshore wind would align with what voters would like to see; 70% say it is “very important” that the state meets their renewable energy goals using in-state clean energy projects. New Yorkers clearly want their state to gain the economic benefits of new energy industries and new clean energy jobs.

PPP also asked people about fracking, and their results show that 80% of voters polled are concerned about fracking’s implications for water quality and a majority (52%) would oppose lifting the current moratorium on high volume fracking.

“It is clear that New Yorkers want a clean energy future where our kids will grow up with healthier air to breathe, clean water to drink and exciting new jobs in the clean tech industry. Now, it’s up to Governor Cuomo to make that clean energy vision a reality,  seize the opportunity to move our state beyond dirty energy like coal and fracking and make New York a national clean energy leader that we can be proud of,” said Dix.