Nebraskans Favor Wind Power

Conducted by the Center for Rural Affairs, a renewable energy poll indicates voters statewide are overwhelmingly in favor of wind energy and other measures.
Courtesy Center for Rural Affairs
April 23, 2010
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Nebraskans favor wind power and other renewable energy sources, according to a new poll. de Nijs

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Lyons, Nebraska – A new poll finds overwhelmingly favorable impressions of wind power among Nebraska voters (94 percent favorable, 69 percent strongly favorable). And a strong majority of Nebraska voters (79 percent) favors requiring electric utilities to use renewable energy sources for at least 20 percent of the electricity they generate. Support for a 20 percent renewable electricity standard extends across all demographic and geographic groups – including 71 percent of Republicans in western Nebraska.

The Global Strategy Group poll was released by the Center for Rural Affairs, American Wind Energy Association, Wind Coalition and Energy Foundation – all proponents of a strong, federal renewable electricity standard.

"We are most encouraged by the fact that the strong support for wind energy knows no geographic, political or demographic bounds. From Falls City to Scottsbluff, from Hartington to Imperial, rural and urban, Republican and Democrat, there is overwhelming support for wind energy and more than 3 to 1 support for a 20 percent renewable electricity standard," says John Crabtree of the Center for Rural Affairs.

Support among Nebraska voters for the 20 percent proposal is driven by concern over rising energy prices (important to 75 percent) and our dependence on foreign oil (important to 73 percent) rather than by a concern for the environment (important to 58 percent).

Crabtree points out that 91 percent of Nebraska voters surveyed agreed with the statement, "Nebraska should meet its electricity needs by using renewable energy such as wind power."

"Clearly, a vast majority of Nebraskans recognize the economic importance of wind energy development for the entire state and that in rural Nebraska, in particular, there are tremendous economic opportunities for farmers, ranchers and rural communities in Nebraska playing a pivotal role in America's energy future," Crabtree says.

The Global Strategy Group memo on the poll results as well as polling data toplines and tables are available on the CFRA website here and here.

The poll was conducted on a sample of 500 registered voters in Nebraska. Telephone interviewing was conducted February 7 through February 10. The sample was selected in such a manner that all households with a working landline telephone were equally likely to be contacted. All polls are subject to errors associated with interviewing a sample rather than the entire universe. The estimation associated with a sample of 500 is +/-4.4 points. In other words, these results are within 4.4 points of the results that would be obtained from interviewing the entire population of Nebraska registered voters.

The Center for Rural Affairs was established in 1973 as an unaffiliated nonprofit corporation. The Center for Rural Affairs was formed by rural Nebraskans concerned about family farms and rural communities, and we work to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities.


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4/23/2010 10:14:07 AM
I live just four miles from Missouri's largest wind farm, with 100 wind turbines on my eastern horizon. While I'm very much in favor of renewable energy sources, I would caution people to be aware that these wind turbines are not without drawbacks, a major one being the noise they create while in action. On a fairly windy day, we can hear the drone of the windmills - it sounds kind of like a jet engine - and remember, we are four miles away from them. It has kind of spoiled the peaceful country life we so desired when we moved out here. The people who live closer to them are quite distraught, and many have put their homes up for sale with little hope of being able to sell them, because of the noise. Some of the farmers report that their cattle are bothered enough to not want to eat as much. These windmills need to be erected well away from people and livestock.

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