Majority of Americans Support Clean Energy by 2035
Would you support or oppose the government moving the country to a 100% clean energy electricity grid by 2035?
That's the question Washington-based think tank Third Way posed across the country. It turns out that a majority of voters support federal action to reach a 100% clean energy grid. Only voters in six congressional districts didn't clear the majority marker for support. Americans are in favor of a complete switch to clean energy, from Pennsylvania (64%) to Georgia (60.8%) to Texas (60.8%) to Hawaii (73%).
Explore the full map at the state and congressional level.
Why This Matters
Three words: Clean. Electricity. Standard. This policy would require utilities to ramp up their share of emissions-free electricity production every year to hit a final target -- in this case, 100% clean by 2035. Greening the energy grid would directly cut a quarter of US emissions and enable other sectors like transportation to clean up as they electrify. The polling proves that working toward the energy policies needed to avoid the worst climate disasters are popular across the country -- they just need political support to actually be implemented.
"It shows us that there is a base of support for federal action to move the country to 100% clean electricity in every single state across the country, and that’s all blue, all red states, swing states," Lindsey Walter, the deputy director of Third Way's climate and energy program, told Axios.
What's Next in Congress
A Clean Electricity Standard of 100% carbon-pollution free power by 2035 was proposed in President Biden's original American Jobs Plan, and its future now rests on a bit of legislative maneuvering. The bipartisan infrastructure package agreed on in June was missing the Standard, but "economists and environmentalists consider it one of the most critical policies to address climate pollution quickly," Vox wrote at the time.
But there's still a chance for something close to an energy standard to move forward: through the reconciliation process, which deals with increases or decreases in federal spending or revenue. A "CES-like policy" would pay companies for hitting sales targets of clean power and charge them when they didn't.