Coloradans support strong action on energy

For Immediate Release

DENVER—Coloradans from across the state overwhelmingly support strong action on clean energy solutions, this according to a new poll released today by the Coalition for Colorado’s New Energy future.

The coalition of agricultural, labor, and conservation groups commissioned the New York-based Benenson Strategy Group to determine public support for their energy plan. In late September, 802 Coloradans were surveyed across the state.

“This poll shows Coloradans support real action on energy issues and The Plan for Colorado’s New Energy Future,” said Mike Bowman, chairman for the coalition and a farmer from Wray, Colorado. “How we produce and use energy is incredibly important for everything from keeping our farms working to improving national security to cleaning-up our air.”

According to the poll, a strong majority of Democrats, Republicans, and independents in Colorado support the major policy initiatives of “The Plan for Colorado’s New Energy Future.”

Here is a summary of the results:

• 79% support increasing the use of renewable energy to 20% by 2015;

• 81% support creating incentives for utility companies to reduce electricity and natural gas use 10% by 2015 through energy efficiency program; and

• 74% support establishing a renewable fuels standard where 10% of our transportation fuels comes from renewable fuels such as biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol, by 2015.

Pete Brodnitz of Benenson Strategy Group conducted the poll and saw it as part of a larger national trend where voters are looking toward candidates for clean energy solutions to our current situation.

“Support in Colorado is consistent with what we’re seeing around the country,” said Brodnitz. “Voters want to see aggressive action to develop clean energy solutions and reduce dependence on oil.”

The gubernatorial race underscores how energy issues are shaping up in Colorado. Both Republican candidate Bob Beauprez and Democratic candidate Bill Ritter have spoken publicly on clean energy development and have policy positions listed on their websites.

“Energy solutions cut across party lines, and many candidates have been working to get out in front on this issue,” said Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies, the largest Republican polling firm in the nation.

“Because energy is often perceived as both a national security and economic issue, candidates must be ready to talk about energy in their races,” continued Weigel.

Prof. Bill Chaloupka, Department of Political Science Chair for Colorado State University added his comments about the recent poll.

“The poll results show strong support, virtually across the board, for aggressive energy policies, beyond what is now in place in Colorado,” said Chaloupka.

And although Chaloupka believes that other issues have dominated debate during this election year, he said, “These results seem to suggest strong support across all dimensions of Colorado’s population for aggressive pursuit of clean energy and energy that comes from domestic sources.”

Environment Colorado is one of the five steering committee members of the Coalition for Colorado’s New Energy Future and was a leading proponent of Amendment 37, the renewable energy initiative passed by Colorado voters in November 2004.

“Clean energy is a clear win in this year’s elections,” said Matt Garrington, Field Director for Environment Colorado. “The Plan for Colorado’s New Energy Future sets common-sense goals, and that’s why so many Coloradans support them.

More information about The Plan for Colorado’s New Energy Future and the coalition can be found at www.ColoradoEnergyFuture.org.

Contact info:

Mike Bowman, (303) 570-9277 Chairman, Coalition for Colorado’s New Energy Future and farmer from Wray, Colorado

Pete Brodnitz, (571) 275-1439 Pollster, Benenson Strategy Group

*conducted the Colorado energy poll

Lori Weigel, (303) 433-4424 Public Opinion Strategies

Prof. Bill Chaloupka, (970) 214-9127 Chair, Department of Political Science, Colorado State Universtiy

More extended information about the Benenson Strategy Group poll:

            Number of people polled: 802

Question #1 – After the 2004 passage of Amendment 37, the Renewable Energy Standard, Colorado is now on track to get 10% of our electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, by 2008, seven years earlier than the 2015 deadline.  Colorado should increase the state's Renewable Energy Standard and require electric utilities to get 20% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2015.  Do you ...[READ LIST]... this policy? 

 

 

PARTY 
REGISTRATION

Demographic Area

 

Total
Dem
Rep
Ind
Denver

Colo. Springs
Pueblo

Other

TOTAL SUPPORT
79%
93%
67%
76%
80%
72%
88%

Strongly Support
39%
52%
29%
36%
40%
31%
50%

Support
40%
40%
38%
41%
39%
42%
38%

TOTAL OPPOSE
15%
4%
25%
13%
15%
15%
4%

Oppose
12%
4%
20%
10%
12%
12%
4%

Strongly Oppose
3%
0%
5%
3%
3%
4%
0%

Don't Know 
7%
3%
7%
10%
5%
12%
8%

 

Question #2 – Seven states currently require energy utilities to establish energy efficiency programs to help customers save energy through energy efficiency.  Colorado is not one of those states.   Colorado should create incentives for energy utility companies to reduce electricity and natural gas use 10% by 2015 by expanding energy efficiency programs.  Do you ...[READ LIST]... this policy?

 

 

PARTY
REGISTRATION

Demographic Area

 

Total
Dem
Rep
Ind
Denver

Colo. Springs 
Pueblo

Other

TOTAL SUPPORT
81%
93%
72%
77%
83%
72%
83%

Strongly Support
40%
54%
27%
38%
41%
32%
50%

Support
41%
39%
45%
38%
42%
40%
33%

TOTAL OPPOSE
13%
3%
21%
13%
11%
20%
4%

Oppose
9%
2%
15%
7%
7%
15%
4%

Strongly Oppose
4%
1%
6%
5%
4%
6%
0%

Don't Know
6%
3%
7%
10%
6%
7%
13%

 

Question #3 – Colorado currently gets less than 5% of our fuel for cars and trucks from renewable fuels like ethanol and bio diesel.  Colorado should establish a Renewable Fuels Standard and require that 10% of our transportation fuel come from renewable fuels, like ethanol and bio-diesel, by 2015.  Do you ...[READ LIST]... this policy?

 

 

PARTY 
REGISTRATION

Demographic Area

 

Total
Dem
Rep
Ind
Denver

Colo. Springs
Pueblo

Other

TOTAL SUPPORT
74%
85%
65%
73%
76%
68%
71%

Strongly Support
37%
51%
26%
35%
38%
34%
42%

Support
37%
34%
39%
38%
38%
34%
29%

TOTAL OPPOSE
18%
9%
28%
18%
18%
21%
17%

Oppose
13%
7%
20%
9%
12%
15%
17%

Strongly Oppose
6%
1%
8%
8%
6%
6%
0%

Don't Know
8%
6%
8%
9%
7%
11%
13%