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Heather Taylor-Miesle

Heather Taylor-Miesle

Posted: October 21, 2010 01:25 PM

According to a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling and released this week by the NRDC Action Fund, voters across the country by a wide margin more likely to vote for someone who supports clean energy legislation --Virginians are no exception.

In the two Virginia districts -- the 5th and the 9th--many more voters questioned said they are more likely to vote for a candidate that stood up for a clean energy bill than less likely. When asked the following question, we found great results:

Congress is considering an energy bill to move America towards a new energy future including investments in wind and solar power. Supporters say the energy bill will create millions of new jobs, reduce our use of foreign oil, hold corporate polluters accountable and cut the pollution that causes climate change. Opponents say the bill will cost companies money and is like an energy tax that would actually reduce jobs. Do you agree more with supporters of the energy bill or opponents of the energy bill?

VA-5 Results
Agree more with supporters............................ 49%
Agree more with opponents ............................ 34%
Not sure .......................................................... 17%

VA-9 Results
Agree more with supporters............................ 47%
Agree more with opponents ............................ 31%
Not sure .......................................................... 22%

And in both districts over two-thirds of voters polled thought favorably about investing in clean, renewable energy like wind and solar power, equaling or exceeding the favorable response to new technologies that use more coal.

Maybe that's because Virginians know that investing in clean energy will mean more jobs at home, more money in their pockets, and a stronger state economy.

This is good news for Congressmen Perriello (VA-5) and Boucher (VA-9). Both supported the American Clean Energy and Security Act, a clean energy bill that would bring 50,000 additional jobs to the state over the next decade increase annual Virginia household income by over $1,300, and boost the state's real GDP by $3.2 billion over the same time period.

Over 50% of the voters polled in Virginia also said that reducing dependence on foreign oil should be a top energy priority for the government.

Fortunately, the same clean energy legislation Perriello and Boucher backed will increase our nation's security by investing in cleaner cars and renewable energy so we can stop mortgaging our children's future to buy oil from countries that don't share our values.
But some don't seem to agree that Virginians should keep more money in their pockets and have a cleaner environment. In recent months Congressmen Perriello and Boucher have come under attack for their bold steps to create jobs and increase our security by their challengers' campaigns.

Congressman Perriello's Republican challenger, Robert Hurt, has embraced all of his party's old tricks. Opponents of clean energy and climate action fought dirty in VA-5 when Perriello voted for the clean energy bill, and continue to do so now-- using claims that have been debunked by NRDC economists for their deceptive conclusions.

H. Morgan Griffith, Congressman Boucher's Republican challenger has gone even further, denying the science of climate change and claiming that legislation will cost jobs in the coal industry. That doesn't make much sense considering it was Congressman Boucher who negotiated on behalf of the industries vital to Virginia's 9th District (a deal, by the way, that the NRDC Action Fund was less than thrilled about). My goodness, the coal guys are even running ads in his favor!

The numbers tell a different story. Virginians favor moving ahead with creating a safer, healthier and economically stronger future for their families and communities. This means Virginians are ready to tackle energy issues by making a commitment to renewable power and clean energy jobs. And they want their elected officials to do the same.

 

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