A new poll, by Small Business Majority, once again provides strong evidence that support for clean energy in Virginia is both broad and deep. In this case, it’s a politically diverse sampling of Virginia small business owners. Here are the top-line results:
- “78% of respondents believe it is important government continues to invest in clean energy, while only 22% say government investments in clean energy and energy efficiency are a waste of money.”
- 84% “support EPA rules to reduce mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel and acid gas emissions from new and existing power plants,” with an overwhelming 80% favoring “proposed rules to reduce smog and soot pollution crossing state lines and contributing to pollution in other states.”
- 59% “agree the failure of Solyndra-which received a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government-doesn’t mean government should stop investing in renewable energy technologies.”
- “Contrary to ideological rhetoric blaming government regulations as the primary impediment to small business growth…[o]nly 16% of [Virginia] small businesses say government regulation is one of their two biggest problems.”
Also worth noting, 65% of Virginia small business owners “favor ending government subsidies to oil and gas companies,” while overwhelming majorities (79%-91%) support specific government incentives – clean energy tax credits, mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standards, clean energy research, etc. – to help move us towards a clean energy economy.
The bottom line? According to Small Business Majority, small business owners across Virginia – and across America – “want bottom-line oriented clean energy policies that increase opportunities and reduce operating costs, such as those associated with fuel and electricity.” In large part, that’s because they understand that we can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing in terms of energy if we want to compete in the 21st- century world economy. The only question is, when will Republicans in Richmond and in Congress get the message?