New Polling on Jobs & Energy Solutions

While prospects for passing comprehensive energy legislation in Congress seem dim at the moment, a new poll for our Next Economy Partnership Project finds that voters still strongly support new energy solutions -- which they see as key to creating jobs and restoring America’s economy.

The new Next Economy baseline poll released today looks at (1) how voters view America’s economic situation (decidedly not a normal recession) and (2) which policies and strategies they think can fix the economy.  The results were a bit surprising: energy-related policies emerged repeatedly at the core of what voters see as a new “bottom-up” paradigm for economic growth.

For example, over 3 in 4 voters agreed with this statement about fixing the economy:

“Top-down solutions and one-size-fits-all edicts from Washington DC won't fix our economy and create long-term growth. Jobs must be created by the private sector in a bottom-up approach through local public-private partnerships that allow small businesses and local leaders to harness the unique strengths of their communities.” 

In terms of energy messaging, pollsters Jim Gerstein and Karl Agne recommend in their new analysis that “clean energy advocates don’t need to focus on ‘green jobs,’ just ‘jobs’ – voters already see clean energy as central to future economic growth, and we see more interest in a focus on small businesses, local communities, and ‘made in America’ than ‘green energy.’

In terms of actual policies, a number of energy-related solutions attracted considerable support, particularly among self-identified Independents.   These included already proposed ideas (eg, a national renewable energy standard) and new ideas such as a ‘war on waste’ that offers consumers and businesses incentives to save money and be more energy efficient, an Energy Independence Fund to give citizens a chance to get a “piece of the action” in new energy development, and accelerating the deployment of a 21st century smart grid to more efficiently and effectively distribute renewable energy across the country.  .

Note: NDN & New Policy Institute’s new Energy Solutions Series launches today -- with our first event focusing on how wireless technology will be critical to the new networked grid and Electricity 2.0.