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AIF Poll Gauges Floridians’ Attitudes on Energy

August 11, 2010

TALLAHASSEE – A recent poll released by Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) gauged Floridians’ attitudes on multiple energy related issues including fossil fuels, nuclear energy, offshore drilling and renewable energy. Results show a majority of Florida voters (62.2 percent) would be willing to pay more in energy prices if the state passed renewable energy programs aimed at making the state more energy independent, reducing dependency on oil and creating new jobs.

While Floridians may be willing to pay more for energy to promote renewables, they still recognize the need to have other energy sources. Further data shows that a significant percentage of respondents support using fossil fuels, including natural gas (88 percent) and coal (55 percent), as sources to generate energy in the state. Additionally, a strong majority of 64 percent support using nuclear energy; up from 57 percent last year.

“These poll results are a clear indicator that Floridians support using fossil fuels and are willing to invest in renewable energy. We simply must take advantage of all of our natural resources available to achieve energy independence,” said Barney Bishop III, president and CEO of AIF. “AIF supports a new energy policy that is affordable and reliable for businesses and consumers;
the future goals are reasonable and attainable; and there is a clear roadmap for all of Florida’s different utilities to transition from production to conservation without a hit to their bottom line,” said Barney Bishop III, president and CEO of AIF.

While the deadline to include constitutional amendments on this year’s ballot has passed, additional poll results found that more than half of Florida voters (55 percent) oppose a constitutional amendment banning oil or natural gas drilling in state waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Among the groups responding, 71 percent of Republicans oppose the amendment as well as 57 percent of Independents and 53 percent of Ticketsplitters.

“On behalf of AIF, I want to congratulate the Florida House for understanding that Floridians simply did not want an amendment banning drilling operations in our constitution. It is clear from the results that a majority of voters from various party affiliations oppose this sort of amendment,” continued Bishop. We also appreciate the Florida Senate for wanting to thoughtfully, yet quickly, determine the appropriate actions needed to help our fellow Floridians in the Gulf Coast. A second special session that can help those residents and businesses suffering from the recent Deepwater Horizon spill is certainly needed and we hope it is called in the near future.”

Conducted by McLaughlin & Associates between July 31 and August 1, 2010, the poll surveyed by telephone 600 randomly-selected, likely general election voters throughout Florida. It has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent and a 95 percent confidence interval.

View the Poll