Key Findings of Energy Subsidy Poll

The Tarrance Group presented Heritage Action for America with the key findings from a survey of N=803 registered “likely” voters across the country.  Interviews were conducted October 23-25, 2011.  In 95 out of 100 cases, the margin of error on a sample of this type is +/- 3.5%.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Voters throughout the country express strong opposition to the federal government choosing specific energy companies and industries within this sector to provide financial subsidies.   Nearly three quarters of voters (72%) oppose the federal government choosing which companies within a certain industry will receive financial subsidies, with a majority (54%) strongly opposing.  This strong opposition is bipartisan, reaching 70% among Independents, 66% among Democrats, and 82% among Republicans.  Voters are also negative toward energy subsidies in general, as only 39% favor the federal government providing some energy companies with financial help in the form of subsidies (50% oppose).
  •  This strong opinion against energy subsidies for some private companies is driven by negativity to the government picking winners and losers, as 71% agree that “allowing the federal government to provide financial help to some companies and not others means the government is playing favorites by picking winners and losers in an industry.”
  • There is a significant cost concern to voters, along with a concern over the corruption that could result from the government investing in specific companies:
    • Nearly two thirds (65%) are more concerned that the federal government will spend too much helping energy companies, while only 26% are more concerned that some energy companies might fail without government help.
    • Nearly two thirds (65%) are extremely or very concerned with the possibility that government providing financial support to certain industries could lead to “crony capitalism and corruption.”
    • Seven in ten (69%) agree that “giving taxpayer dollars to corporations that are not succeeding is the same as corporate welfare.”
    • Six in ten (60%) agree that “when private investors don’t want to risk losing their money in a business or industry, then that’s proof that the government should not invest in a company.”
  • Concern over the cost of subsidies is understandable.  A majority (60%) agree more that the size of the U.S. debt and deficit from too much government spending is preventing economic growth, while only 31% agree more that the U.S. debt, deficit and government spending is not preventing economic growth.
  • Opposition to the government picking “winners and losers” is evidenced by voters’ negative feelings toward Solyndra, an energy company that recently filed for bankruptcy only after receiving a $535 million loan from the federal government and a public endorsement by President Obama. Nearly two thirds (65%) agree that Solyndra going bankrupt is a “perfect example of why the federal government should not be in the role of picking winners and losers, no matter what industry or company it is.” 

 

 

 

http://heritageaction.com/2011/10/key-findings-of-energy-subsidy-poll/

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Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

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(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

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