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Public opinion watch: New polls in Maryland, Ohio find voters back wind power

Public opinion watch: New polls in Maryland, Ohio find voters back wind power

In addition to a recent poll in Vermont showing strong support there for wind power, two new surveys, in Maryland and Ohio, have found public backing for the clean energy technology.

The Maryland findings come from a recent Washington Post poll, conducted February 21-24, among 1,156 respondents, on attitudes toward offshore wind power.  Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed supported a plan to provide state backing for an offshore wind farm, with the cost limited to $1.50 per month on electricity bills (39 percent were opposed). The findings provided welcome support for a proposal by Gov. Martin O'Malley to boost offshore wind, which is moving closer to passage in the state legislature.

AWEA issued a press release on the results of the Ohio poll, which found even stronger affirmation for renewable energy and wind power in the Buckeye State.  Among key results, nearly 80 percent of those surveyed said they support laws requiring the state's utilities to obtain a minimum portion of the electricity they sell from renewable energy sources, while amost three-quarters (73 percent) favor building more wind farms in the state.

“Ohio is one of the fastest growing states for renewable energy investments,” noted AWEA Interim CEO Rob Gramlich. “Polling data in Ohio shows that large majorities of Ohioans from all backgrounds support sound investments in renewable energy. This data confirms that Ohio's policymakers should continue on the successful course they have taken since the clean energy law was passed in 2008.”  (One major wind farm in Van Wert County, near the Indiana line, made news recently with its first payment of more than $400,000 in property taxes.)

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