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Poll Finds Renewable Energy Support Among Conservative Voters

Wind farm
David P. West/Shutterstock
Wind farm

Researchers are saying a new poll shows increasing support for the development of renewable energy among conservative Ohioans. The poll doesn’t just focus on what conservative voters support, but why.

A poll released by the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum says more than two-thirds of conservative respondents support renewable energy development and favored fair wind turbine setback laws that allow a landowner to lease property for wind farm projects.

Michael Hartley, the group’s founder, says they wanted to see what conservative voters think about renewable energy without discussing climate change.

“That’s not our argument, our argument is based on -- from a conservative viewpoint -- that economic development, that property rights, that freedom, the national security, all these different conservative viewpoints,” says Hartley, who adds that 81% of poll respondents approved of President Donald Trump.

Groups that support placing turbines further away from property linesalso make the personal property rights argument, but from the perspective of landowners that don’t want to lease to wind farms.

In the poll, 75% said they would support setback laws that require a turbine to be placed a quarter-mile away from a residence. The current setbacks, which are regarded among the strictest in the country, requires a turbine to be placed a quarter-mile from a property line.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.