ReThink Energy NJ poll shows 2 of 3 New Jersey voters say natural gas is not clean energy; Overwhelming support for 100 percent renewables by 2050
Voters clearly favor renewables over more gas and pipelines as state updates Energy Master Plan
FAR HILLS, N.J.: Sending a strong message to state policymakers, a new survey of the state’s registered voters conducted by The Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll for ReThink Energy NJ found that 66 percent do not consider natural gas to be clean energy, an astounding 23-point increase since 2016, and that three of every four want New Jersey to achieve a goal of 100% of energy from renewable sources by 2050.
“As the Murphy Administration develops a new Energy Master Plan to achieve 100 percent clean energy, it is clear that most New Jersey voters do not think natural gas is clean and want the state to move to renewable energy like wind and solar,” said Tom Gilbert, campaign director, ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation.
“New Jerseyans are highly engaged on the energy issue, with 60 percent saying they are following the topic and more than half reporting they are more likely to vote for a candidate who favors renewables,” said Krista Jenkins, director, Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll and Professor of Political Science. “The strong level of voter awareness about energy issues should be encouraging news to policymakers who are working to advance clean energy in the state.”
Voters favor renewables over fossil fuels; Willing to pay more for renewable energy
Seventy-five percent of those surveyed said the state should be investing in more renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels and pipelines. Two out of three (66%) said they are willing to pay $10 or $15 more per month for solar or wind energy in order to reduce emissions.
Renewables can’t wait
More than half of New Jersey voters (58%) say our state is moving too slowly to adopt renewable energy. Solar, more than natural gas (44% to 26%) is viewed as most important to the state’s energy future, and 74 percent support the development of offshore wind as a source of energy.
Concerned about new pipelines, federal policies; Pipeline jobs not worth risks
Regarding new pipelines, approximately eight out of 10 voters said they are concerned about their:
- Impact on natural areas and wildlife habitats (81%)
- Seizure of private property by energy companies (81%)
- Risks to air and water quality (79%)
- Use of protected natural areas like the Pine Barrens (78%)
Two-thirds (67%) said the jobs created by pipelines are not worth the environmental and health risks, and the state should instead create jobs through clean, renewable energy projects.
Sixty percent said they disagree with the federal energy policy that favors fossil fuels, while over seven in ten (73%) said New Jersey should set its own course by investing in renewables.
“By overwhelming percentages, voters recognize the serious risks that pipelines pose to the residents of our state and want the state to focus on developing clean, renewable sources of energy,” said Gilbert.
The telephone survey of 735 randomly-selected registered voters was conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson Poll for ReThink Energy NJ between August 30 and September 4.
About ReThink Energy NJ
ReThink Energy NJ aims to inform and empower New Jersey citizens about the need for reduced use of fossil fuels and pipelines that threaten our preserved lands, water, environment, public health and communities; our goal is a swift transition to efficient, clean and renewable energy. ReThink Energy NJ is supported by New Jersey Conservation Foundation, The Watershed Institute and Pinelands Preservation Alliance. For more information, visit rethinkenergynj.org and find ReThink Energy NJ on Facebook and Twitter @rethinkenergynj.
About Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll
Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll is a full-service survey research center committed to the delivery and analysis of unbiased and methodologically sound data. Topics include, but are not limited to, politics, society, popular culture, consumer and economic trends. FDU Poll is a charter member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s (AAPOR) Transparency Initiative and adheres to the AAPOR’s Professional Ethics and Practices. In 2018, for the second time, the FDU poll received an “A” rating from statistician Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog.