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Columbia County Observer

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Florida News

Survey Shows Americans Want Clean, Affordable Energy

Photo credit: Solar farm - abengoabioenergy.com

By Stephanie Carroll Carson

TALLAHASSEE, FL - Florida has one of the highest per-capita electricity usage rates in the country, with utility bills climbing even higher during the hot summer months. It's one reason why Floridians join a majority of Americans in wanting more renewable energy, according to a recent survey commissioned by the Civil Society Institute. It found that a majority of Republicans, independents and Democrats would all like Congress to work on an energy policy that supports renewable energy, protects public health, and promotes energy independence.

Citizens Action Coalition
Civil Society Institute
Solar Tribune - What is a Solar Farm?

Kerwin Olson, executive director of the Citizens Action Coalition, says the poll shows the political divide over energy issues does not reflect the will of the people.

"Americans want clean energy. Americans want affordable energy, and it's the influence of the moneyed interests of the utility and energy lobbyists that's creating this gridlock."

Olson says the cost of energy is driving consumers to want energy policies that will promote more affordable options.

"A lot of it has to do with prices at the pump, prices on their monthly utility bills that are ever increasing. And, Americans just want politicians to stop bickering."

Olson says the survey shows two thirds of Americans think political leaders should help steer the U.S. to greater use of cleaner energy sources.

"Renewable energy and energy efficiency are the investments that create far more jobs, provide cleaner energy and provide affordable energy to the public, which we believe is an essential human service and a right."

On the practical side of energy policy, researchers at the University of Central Florida have discovered a way to make ethanol from orange peels, which are plentiful in the Sunshine State. A facility to do just that is planned in Hendry County and is expected to produce four million gallons of ethanol a year. 

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