Contact: Ken Walsh 414-405-1060
Voters see state action as way to grow clean energy jobs in Wisconsin
[Crandon, Wisc.] In anticipation of state legislation to reduce greenhouse gasses which cause climate change, a recent statewide poll shows a majority of Wisconsin voters favor action by the State of Wisconsin to reduce carbon emissions.
When asked, “Do you favor or oppose the State of Wisconsin taking action to reduce (its) emissions of gases like carbon dioxide in Wisconsin that cause global warming?” nearly three-fourths of voters (70%) favor the State of Wisconsin taking action to reduce carbon emissions. Only 24% of voters oppose taking action.
Support for action to reduce emissions also crosses party lines, with majorities of Republicans (53%), independents (67%) and Democrats (87%) favoring action by the State of Wisconsin.
“Carbon pollution threatens to dramatically change our world for the worse,” said Forest County Potawatomi Attorney General Jeff Crawford. “We have a responsibility to our children and grandchildren to be good stewards of the environment.”
The poll also found that two-thirds of Wisconsin voters favor requiring utilities to generate 25% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Current Wisconsin law requires utilities to generate 10% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015. 66% of voters favored increasing that standard to require utilities to generate 25% of their energy from renewable sources by the year 2025. This measure also received bipartisan support with 54% of Republicans, 60% of independents and 82% of Democrats favoring the 25% by 2025 requirement. Voters also believe that renewable standard can help create jobs in Wisconsin, reduce our dependence on foreign energy and decrease carbon pollution. When asked which candidate for state legislature would you rather vote, a majority of voters (62%) prefer a candidate who “supports the bill to require utilities to generate 25% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2025 because moving the state to clean energy will create whole new industries and thousands of good jobs here in Wisconsin while reducing our dependence on foreign energy and decreasing the carbon pollution that causes global warming.”
By comparison, only 27% of voters prefer a candidate who would oppose the renewable bill “because it will in effect create a new energy tax that will raise energy prices for consumers by thousands of dollars and push Wisconsin companies to move out of the state where taxes and regulations are less burdensome.”
“The public understands that we can decrease our dependence on foreign energy, create jobs and improve the environment by moving to a clean energy economy,” said Crawford. “They support requiring the use of more renewable energy.” In addition to finding strong support for action by the State of Wisconsin to reduce carbon emissions, the poll found that most voters want utilities to focus on developing clean energy resources here in Wisconsin.
Some Wisconsin utilities have said that they would like to purchase new hydroelectric power from Canada as a large part of their effort to meet the proposed requirement that at least 25% of all electricity they produce come from renewable sources. Almost 70% of voters think Wisconsin utilities should first focus on developing clean energy sources in-state before being allowed to purchase hydroelectric power from foreign sources.
Members of the Wisconsin Legislature are currently drafting legislation that will reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy in the state. The legislation will be based on recommendations from the Global Warming Task Force. The Task Force, which was formed to investigate ways the State of Wisconsin could reduce its share of greenhouse gas emissions while also growing the state’s economy and creating new jobs, brought together representatives from Wisconsin’s business sector, environmental groups, utilities and other interested stakeholders. They released their list of final recommendations in July 2008 after more than one year of work. The Forest County Potawatomi Community was a member of the Global Warming Task Force.
In addition to its work on the Task Force, the Forest County Potawatomi Community is very involved in a number of significant environmental initiatives both to lighten its own environmental impact while also working with others to significantly reduce environmental impacts within Wisconsin. For information on the Tribe’s environmental efforts go to http://www.EndGlobalWarmingWI.org
The Potawatomi poll of 600 likely Wisconsin general election voters was conducted September 1-4, 2009 by the Mellman Group, Inc. and has a margin of error of +/- 4.0%.
The Forest County Potawatomi Community is a federally recognized Native American tribe located in Northeastern Wisconsin with a membership of about 1,200. In addition to their work for the environment, the Potawatomi operate several tribal enterprises, including casinos in Milwaukee and Carter, Wisconsin, and a Health & Wellness Center in Crandon, Wisconsin. The tribe employs nearly 3,000 people in its government operations, casino operations, social services and additional businesses. For more information on the Potawatomi, please visit http://www.fcpotawatomi.com.