Pennsylvania poll: another big win for wind power

Still another public opinion poll, this time in Pennsylvania, has found remarkably strong public support for wind energy. The numbers, as usual are very strong (85% of voters think it is important for Pennsylvania to support continued expansion of wind farm plants, 71% want the U.S. Congress to support a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) of fifteen percent by 2021, 58% said paying $2 more per month on their utility bills would have no impact on their support for clean energy).

It’s great to see that after a quarter-century of public opinion surveys on energy, people still understand that a clean energy source that is inexhaustible and free from fuel price risks should be part of a common-sense energy policy.


As members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly prepare for a new legislative session, the results of a new Pennsylvania poll released today show strong, deep bipartisan public support for increasing Pennsylvania wind farm development, construction and manufacturing. During a time when the Commonwealth is experiencing significant natural gas extraction, this poll signals support in Pennsylvania for promoting a diverse energy portfolio through the deployment of more wind turbines.

"Pennsylvanians clearly speak with one voice on this issue. They overwhelmingly support the continued growth of wind farms and see this as part of the solution to solving the state’s economic challenges long term. Clearly this is a win-win issue for lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum. Pennsylvanians think wind energy has a role in the state’s energy mix moving forward, and most consumers say they are even willing to pay slightly higher rates to make it happen," said Susquehanna Polling and Research, Inc’s President, Jim Lee.

"Pennsylvania voters clearly see the need for the wind industry to grow and flourish at home in the Keystone State. At a time of record unemployment rates, the U.S. wind industry has been a bright spot in the U.S. economy. Our job now is to make sure that state leadership sees the overwhelming support demonstrated in these polls. We embrace Pennsylvania’s taxpayers support for the wind industry and will work with a bipartisan group of policymakers to keep clean energy moving in the right direction," said AWEA CEO Denise Bode.

The poll, conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research, Inc. (R) with a 800 person sample of 43% Republicans, 48% Democrats and 9% Independent Pennsylvania voters found:

*85% of voters think it is important for Pennsylvania to support continued expansion of wind farms, and 58% of Pennsylvania voters strongly support Pennsylvania continuing to develop wind turbines.

*Only 11% voters would be less likely to support cleaner sources of energy if it cost an extra $2 per month: a 58% majority acknowledged that a $2 more per month had no impact on their support for clean energy and 28% of Pennsylvania voters see a $2 increase for clean energy as an acceptable and worthwhile cost that would make them more likely to support clean energy resources.

*A strong 71% of Pennsylvania voters want the United States Congress to support a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) of fifteen percent by 2021, a significant level of support that dwarfs the 19% of Pennsylvania voters that do not support a fifteen percent Federal RES.

This Pennsylvania Statewide Poll was conducted on October 24-27, 2010. The margin of error for a sample size of 800 is +/-3.46% at the 95% confidence level.

By Tom Gray,