IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Carina Daniels
September 22, 2016 510.847.1617
Conservative activists from across the US call for renewable energy action at Conservative Clean Energy Summit
Polling data shows young conservatives favor renewables
and support tax breaks and subsidies for clean, efficient energy
WASHINGTON—Hundreds of grassroots activists from across the country gathered on Capitol Hill today for the nation’s largest conservative clean-energy event. Their message: Conservatives want clean energy – and they want their representatives in Congress to lead on this issue.
The crowd skewed young, with most of the attendees under 40, and organizers say that’s something political leaders should pay attention to.
“For young conservatives, clean and efficient energy isn’t something fringe or futuristic. It’s a regular and growing part of their lives, and they want their elected leaders to support renewable energy in common-sense ways that grow the economy, promote energy independence and defend American families from pollution,” said Michele Combs, founder and chair of Young Conservatives for Energy Reform, which co-hosted the event with the Christian Coalition.
Scheduled speakers included Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colorado), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Dean Heller (R-Nevada). Also on the roster: Representatives Chris Gibson (R-New York), Leonard Lance (R-New Jersey), Tom Reed (R-New York), Mark Sanford (R-South Carolina), and David Young (R-Iowa). Business leaders, pollsters, and academics also spoke. Attendees heard that clean energy is growing the economy and creating jobs in state after state.
“The cost of wind power has dropped two-thirds over six years, and much the same can be said of solar and other renewables. Clean energy is now growing faster than any other form of energy in the world,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, which sponsored the event along with Defend Our Future, the Solar Energy Industries Association and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions.
“The U.S. is blessed with abundant wind resources and American wind turbines are among the most efficient in the world,” Kiernan said. “Polls show Americans strongly support clean energy and if America doesn’t lead, we stand to lose out on a huge multi-trillion dollar opportunity in the global clean energy market. As a Republican, a business leader, and an American, I want to see this success story continue.”
That enthusiasm for clean energy is shared by conservative Americans under 35, according to a new poll of 940 young conservative voters across the country. The survey, commissioned by Young Conservatives for Energy Reform (YC4ER), found broad support for renewable energy in general, and policies that support it in particular.
Among the young conservatives polled, 73 percent have a favorable view of the renewable energy industry. That’s more than have a favorable view of the natural gas (67 percent), coal (56 percent), or nuclear (52 percent) industries. The renewable energy sector also scored more favorably than the Environmental Protection Agency (59 percent favorable) and environmental groups such as the Sierra Club (57 percent favorable).
Among the young conservative voters polled:
- 72 percent favor encouraging the private sector to solve energy problems through innovation and technology while blocking any top-down, one-size-fits-all approach from the federal government (33 percent strongly support; 39 percent somewhat support).
- 67 percent favor tax credits or subsidies for clean energy research and development (25 percent strongly support; 42 percent somewhat support).
- 66 percent favor tax credits or subsidies for investments in energy efficiency (29 percent strongly support, 37 percent somewhat support).
“Clean, efficient energy is creating American jobs that pay well, and making our economy and our nation stronger and more secure,” said Roberta Combs, president and CEO of the Christian Coalition. “Clean energy is a tremendous economic opportunity that also helps protect God’s creation. For many young conservatives, it’s a no-brainer.”
Link to the full poll referenced above: http://yc4er.org/ycer-poll-young-conservatives-views-on-energy-the-environment/