Poll: Marylanders Favor Government Funding for Clean Energy, Not Fossil Fuels

    As they contemplate how government money should be spent, Marylanders are very clear: Any money for the energy sector should go to clean energy companies and not the fossil fuel industry.

    That’s according to a national poll conducted earlier this month on policy priorities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    By a margin of 80% to 20%, Marylanders said they would prefer any government stimulus money be spent on helping the clean energy industry rather than oil, gas and coal companies.

    They were responding to the question, “As a result of the virus, many industries may experience economic hardships and job losses and will require assistance from the government. When it comes to stimulus funding in your state’s energy sector to protect jobs, which industry should your state government prioritize?”

    Nationally, that same question drew a 75%-25% response in favor of clean energy. Other than Washington, D.C., where 92% of poll respondents favored clean energy investments, and Delaware, Nevada, New York and Washington State, where 81% of residents answered clean energy, Maryland had the highest level of support.

    Even voters in coal-producing states like Wyoming and West Virginia favored clean energy investments over fossil fuels (55% and 59%, respectively).

    “As the nation begins to plan how to rebuild the economy, American voters strongly prefer to invest taxpayer dollars in a future powered by clean, renewable energy instead of fossil fuels,” saidAnthony Leiserowitz, director of ​the Yale Program of Climate Change Communication.

    Climate Nexus, in partnership with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, conducted the poll of 1,917 U.S. voters on April 19. The poll had a 2.3-point margin of error and the Maryland subset of the poll had a 4-point error margin.

    In the Maryland poll, 32% of voters said they approved of the job President Trump is doing, while 65% said they disapproved. The only place where Trump’s approval ratings were worse was in Washington, D.C., where 16% approved and 80% disapproved.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.