New poll: Wind power overwhelmingly popular in New York

New York has some of the most ambitious clean energy goals in the country. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed cutting carbon pollution by 80 percent in the coming decades, while the state is currently designing a 50 percent clean energy standard.

To meet these targets, the Empire State will need to substantially increase its renewable energy resources. If history serves as a guide, it will look to wind power to supply much of this new clean energy. Fortunately, a new study finds that wind is overwhelming popular among New Yorkers.

In an era where widespread agreement is increasingly rare, an astounding 89 percent of the state’s residents support using more wind power, according to new data released by the Nature Conservancy.

Other highlights from the Nature Conservancy’s report:

  • The average voter wants 71 percent of New York’s electricity to come from clean energy.
  • Nearly 60 percent want the state to go 100 percent renewable.
  • 90 percent of voters support New York’s 50 percent clean energy standard.

It’s no surprise wind energy and the state’s clean energy standard receive such high levels of support. Through 2050, growing wind could save New York families and businesses almost $1.1 billion, on top of another nearly $14 billion saved through protection against conventional fuel price fluctuations.

And renewable energy standards like the one New York is designing have proven to be smart polices that result is significant consumer benefits. Across the country, these polices have created about $7.5 billion in annual environmental benefits from reduced air emissions; 27 billion gallons in reduced water consumption every year; $1.3 billion to $4.9 billion in reduced consumer energy prices; 200,000 American jobs; and $20 billion in annual GDP from the renewable energy developed to meet state Renewable Portfolio Standards through the year 2013, according to analysis from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Wind power’s popularity in New York also mirrors its favorability across the U.S. Ninety-one percent of likely voters support expanding wind energy, according to a recent poll conducted by Wall Street investment firm Lazard.

As a native New Yorker, it’s encouraging to see such strong support for clean energy. This is proof that being one of America’s most prosperous and populous states can go hand-in-hand with being one of the cleanest.

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