New Jersey residents support investing in clean energy as an important aspect of pandemic recovery efforts.
That’s according to the sixth annual “Attitudes on Clean Energy” public opinion survey from ReThink Energy NJ and conducted by the Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll, which found respondents believed investments in clean energy could lead to job creation. Sixty-two percent of New Jerseyans prefer to “create jobs, improve our health by reducing pollution, and ultimately save consumers money”
That’s compared to 30% who preferred to create jobs through pipelines that “ensure a reliable supply of inexpensive natural gas.”
Consistent Attitudes for Clean Energy
The results were consistent with a strong preference for clean energy across the Garden State. When asked about the most important aspect of New Jersey’s energy future, 47% choose solar compared to 21% picking natural gas.
That number jumped to 58% when offshore wind power was included. Tom Gilbert, campaign director of ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation, noted the pandemic was a powerful motivator in the latest iteration of the report.
“Despite facing unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, voter support for clean energy hasn’t waned and, in some respects, has become even stronger,” he said.
Contrast with Federal Plans
New Jersey voters showd a strong preference for the state’s plans to convert to cleaner energy sources when compared to federal plans to rely more on traditional fossil fuels.
Eighty-percent of those surveyed favored or strongly favored the state’s plans to use 100% clean energy by 2050, with only 15% opposed or very opposed to the plan.
“This, coupled with the data showing that half say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who favors renewables, sends a clear message to policymakers about the clean energy future New Jerseyans are seeking,” said Krista Jenkins, professor of politics and government and director of the FDU poll.