6.23.09   •   Focus: Polls Back Clean Energy Plan by 3 to 1 Margin

Polls Show Big Win for Clean Energy Legislation:

The American people support our plan to create clean energy jobs and fight global warming pollution by a margin of 3 to 1, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.

This poll is consistent with several other recent surveys that show double digit support for clean energy legislation -- including a Mellman Group poll that found a 72% approval and a +54 margin. Even against the strongest and most misleading opposition attacks, our plan still holds strong (62%) as the desire to finally move America off foreign oil and create new jobs prevails. The American people are ready for the change they voted for in November.

Now is the time to go on offensive. Let your constituents know the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act will:

Sample Results from Recent Polls:

Mellman Group

Washington Post/ABC News:

“Three-quarters of Americans think the federal government should regulate the release into the atmosphere of greenhouse gases from power plants, cars and factories to reduce global warming, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with substantial majority support from Democrats, Republicans and independents." -June 25, 2009

Beating Opposition Attacks:

Even after a strongly worded attack using the opposition's talking points focusing on a tax increase of $1,300 on the average family and increased costs, a large majority continue to favor a plan to reduce emissions:

Source: Mellman Poll

A majority also believe reducing global warming will create American jobs, not eliminate them by a 34 point margin:

Source: Mellman Poll

Picking Up Bi-Partisan Support:

Initial Support for Clean Energy Legislation is very high. When read the basics of the bill, that it is: designed to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by setting a limit on carbon pollution, requiring that a quarter of our electricity comes from clean, renewable sources; and that we significantly increase energy efficiency in buildings, appliances and cars. Nearly seven in ten support the legislation, including a majority of Republicans.

Strongly Support: Overall 69% (Republicans 53%, Independents 64%, Coal Producing 64%) [Source: Glover Park Group, May 2009]

Greenburg Quinlan Rosner: Message Survey for Third Way:

The change voters want is energy that is clean, domestic and cheap.

They want three key things the bill addresses:

  1. A dramatic shift toward clean energy sources like wind and solar;
  2. Far less reliance on foreign energy sources; and
  3. Lower energy prices

Participants in the focus groups do not view these three goals as inherently in conflict, because they do not expect us to reach them simultaneously. Instead, they want energy reform to be built around working toward these goals. They also know that lowering prices may have to wait in the short term. Many offer that accomplishing the first two goals would ultimately lead to a drop in prices as well as price stability, and they believe that it would be worth the wait. [Greenberg/Third Way, May 2009]


News Stories and Opinion

LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER: New energy bill aims to save environment and push economy [Op-Ed by Congressman Bend Chandler]

I had concerns with how early versions of the bill could affect Central Kentucky, but I pushed for additional changes that have been included in the legislation's final form.

Specifically, I fought for and secured an additional 30 million allowances for the rural electric cooperatives in Kentucky and across the country, helping protect our companies and helping these energy producers keep rates low for our rural communities.

This is not just about our environment, but it is about the future - the future of our economy, the future of our jobs and the future of our children. In addition to caring for our families, we also have a duty to protect God's creation.

ALTAVISTA JOURNAL: Tom Periello's Report

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed historic legislation to create millions of new jobs in the clean-energy economy and increase our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. I supported the American Clean Energy and Security Act because I believe it is a necessary step in declaring our energy independence and creating the energy jobs and technology of the future right here at home.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office ... the bill is estimated to cost the average 5th District family only $12 per month - or 40 cents per day - a cost that could be offset by any household that reduces its energy.

THE HILL: Opposing clean energy hurts GOP [Op-Ed by Mark Mellman]

Our polling for the Pew Environment Group found a 77 percent supermajority wants the U.S. to reduce its carbon emissions... In this respect, GOP leaders betray their own partisans, 62 percent of whom want action to reduce carbon emissions.

In fact, when the tax argument made by Republicans on the floor last week is matched against a counterpoint making it clear that it is polluters, not taxpayers, who pay and that consumers will receive part of the money polluters pay as an energy tax credit, voters side with proponents of the legislation by a 42-point margin.

Remarks of President Barack Obama

Make no mistake: this is a jobs bill. We're already seeing why this is true in the clean energy investments we're making through the Recovery Act. In California, 3000 people will be employed to build a new solar plant that will create 1000 permanent jobs. In Michigan, investment in wind turbines and wind technology is expected to create over 2,600 jobs. In Florida, three new solar projects are expected to employ 1400 people.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Obama is confident Senate will pass energy bill

"Now, I know light bulbs may not seem sexy," Mr. Obama noted. But, he said, the new standards might save consumers up to $4 billion a year starting in 2012, and significantly reduce energy demand.

ROLL CALL: Obama sees a path in Senate for climate bill

“I think now that you've seen somebody like a Rick Boucher of Virginia able to enter into very constructive negotiations with a [liberal Democrat like] Henry Waxman of California - that, I think, provides a blueprint for how the Senate can proceed," he said. “I think that when you've got corporate leaders like [General Electric's CEO] Jeff Immelt, legislators from coal regions like Rick Boucher, and Al Gore all agreeing that this is worth doing, that's a pretty good coalition to work with."

POLITICO: David Axelrod: Senate will pass energy legislation

Axelrod: “The Republicans, then, have to come up with an answer to all of these questions: What are we going to do about our dependence on foreign oil? What are the new industries of the future? Are we going to let these energy jobs go to China and India, or are we going to command the future? What are we going to do about pollution and global warming that threaten our health and our planet? You know, what we've heard from the Republican Party is a lot of what we can't do. The question is: Are we going to step up and deal with the big problems facing this country?"

NEW YORK TIMES: Betraying the Planet [Op-Ed by Paul Krugman]

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn't help thinking that I was watching a form of treason - treason against the planet.

To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research.

But if you watched the debate on Friday, you didn't see people who've thought hard about a crucial issue, and are trying to do the right thing. What you saw, instead, were people who show no sign of being interested in the truth. They don't like the political and policy implications of climate change, so they've decided not to believe in it - and they'll grab any argument, no matter how disreputable, that feeds their denial.

GRIST: Why we overestimate the costs of climate change legislation

ACEEE, which has intensively studied the barriers to and potential of efficiency, says Waxman-Markey efficiency provisions will produce annual household savings of $4,400 by 2030.

The real question is: do you believe the American people can figure out innovative, profitable ways to transition to clean energy if they put their shoulders to it? In the end, it's an expression of faith. But as conservatives like Manzi are eager to point out in other contexts, faith in American entrepreneurialism tends to pay off.

REPUBLICANS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: Passage of House climate and energy bill a step in the right direction

"We are disappointed, however, in the dilatory actions of House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), whose delaying tactics wasted the House's time and embarrassed the party," Jenkins said.

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Fed works to speed solar development in Southwest

The federal government's top land steward said Monday that the United States will fast-track efforts to build solar power generating facilities on public space in six Western states.

This is the web version of the Select Committee's Clean Energy Update email.
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