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New poll: Americans across party lines support offshore wind by wide margins

New poll: Americans across party lines support offshore wind by wide margins

In today’s world, sometimes it can feel like a struggle getting two people to agree the sky is blue. And yet, in an era of polarized opinions, wind energy has remained an outlier—it’s a bright beacon of consensus. Just a few months ago, Pew found 85 percent of Americans supported expanding the use of wind power.

Now, just-released survey results show this same support extends to offshore wind. Over 80 percent of U.S. voters favor offshore wind, according to a new AWEA-commissioned study conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. Notably, that support is universal. It transcends across political party affiliation, geography, and every demographic group measured.

Although the U.S. only has one operating offshore wind farm today, states up and down the East Coast have made and the offshore wind project pipeline stands at nearly 26,000 megawatts (MW). That’s enough to power millions of homes and businesses with reliable, affordable, clean energy generated in close proximity to many of the country’s largest population centers.

Building that project pipeline could create over 80,000 jobs by 2030 and a new domestic supply chain, while spurring $57 billion of investment into the U.S. economy. Voters are buying this vision of the future—57 percent think wind energy will be more important to the U.S. economy than oil and gas 10 years from now. As one would expect, the creation of well-paying jobs and a new economy-strengthening industry transcends party lines.

One of the reasons support for offshore wind extends so far and wide is because it’s not just an East Coast story—its benefits will extend nationwide. For example, offshore manufacturing and service companies in the Gulf region used their ocean infrastructure experience to help build the country’s first offshore wind project, the Block Island Wind Farm. These businesses are anxious to get back into offshore wind game as large projects are deployed in the waters off our coasts.

Further down the line, offshore wind will bring similar benefits as it grows along the West Coast and in the Great Lakes. These survey results show Americans understand the promise of offshore wind, and they want to see that promise become a reality. It’s our job to get to work and deliver.

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Laura is the Senior Director, Policy and Regulatory Affairs for Offshore Wind at the American Wind Energy Association. Laura is the association's lead on offshore wind issues. She also focuses on building wind's political power by increasing the level of engagement between AWEA’s member companies, Members of Congress and the administration, and by collaborating with the environmental community and other users of ocean resources. Prior to joining AWEA, Laura spent seven years in the federal government, most recently as the Acting Deputy Chief of Staff at NOAA. Laura also served as a Policy Advisor in the Office of Management and Budget, Deputy Associate Director for Climate and Energy at the Council for Environmental Quality, and a Senior Advisor at the Department of Energy. In each of those roles, Laura focused on deployment of renewable energy and bulk transmission projects, and more broadly on mechanisms to modernize the permitting process for major infrastructure projects. Before joining the government, Laura was Senior Counsel in the energy practice of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., and Appellate Counsel in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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