Conservative Kansas Voters Heart Renewable Energy


Photo via the Clarion Ledger

If there's anything we've learned from the politics of the green movement in recent years, it's that stereotypes have no place. If it seemed for years that the GOP was the party of Big Oil and Coal, we'd do well to remember that it was the Republican politicians--not the people--who more often cozied up to ungreen interests. Plenty of Dems have got Big Coal's back, too, remember. And just about everyone wants clean energy--regardless of political affiliation. How do I know? By the overwhelmingly progressive, pro-renewable energy views on energy expressed by conservative Kansas voters in this eye-opening survey, of course. Kansas, one of the most reliably Red States in the nation, has just proved itself to be in the tank--by a huge margin--for renewable energy measures and clean energy policy. This survey of Kansas voters conducted by Republican polling firm Ayres, McHenry and Associates has some pretty interesting findings indeed. From the survey:

* By a 3 to 1 margin, Kansans believe it is better to use renewable energy over nuclear and coal power

* Voters support a renewable energy standard by a margin of 5 to 1 for the state

* 3 out of 4 Kansans would be willing to pay between $2 and $5 more every month on their energy bill if it means generating more renewable energy

* Nearly 9 in 10 Kansans believe renewable energy is a path to stronger national security

* 8 in 10 voters agree investing in renewables will create more jobs

* 71 percent of Kansans support a national energy efficiency standard that would require utilities to procure a set percentage of their energy from wiser use of the energy they already generate

And that's not all:

81 percent of those surveyed believe there needs to be a national standard that anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of our energy comes from renewable sources by 2021. 84 percent are willing to pay an extra $2 a month to make this a reality; 73% are willing to pay $5 more a month.

88 percent of Kansans find it to be a "persuasive argument" that utilizing renewable energy will strengthen our national security. 86 percent support the argument that Kansas can meet new energy standards and should be exporting wind energy.

So if Kansas voters are indicative of general attitudes across the Midwest--and I think they are--we can pretty safely say that clean energy has become not only better understood, but downright popular with the masses. Conservative or otherwise.

Even the government of Texas, a state even redder than Kansas, is going full throttle in passing solar power laws. Along with the attitudes seen here in Kansas, it's pretty safe to say that the nation is embracing a need for clean energy policy and development.

So next time you think of Republicans as oil-sucking corporate loving fat cats--remember Kansas.

More on Renewable Energy in Kansas
Kansas’ Kickapoo Nation Embraces Renewable Energy, Sets Sights on Energy Independence
Largest Wind Farm in Kansas (250 MW) Built by Italian Energy Firm
Small Town Kansas Makes Sustainability Investment

Tags: Alternative Energy | Clean Energy | Congress

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