Kansans are willing to pay more green to go green, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The message behind the poll is to drum up support for federal standards on renewable energy and energy efficiency, which are being debated in Congress.
“A federal Renewable Energy Standard would result in a magnitude of economic and wind development that would create opportunities for not just this generation of Kansans, but for this century,” said Nancy Jackson, director of the Lawrence-based Climate and Energy Project.
As part of the settlement to allow construction of an 895-megawatt coal-burning power plant, Kansas lawmakers recently adopted state renewable energy standards that will require utilities to produce 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy by 2020.
But a nationwide renewable energy standard would produce demand for wind-generated energy from Kansas, which is the third windiest state in the U.S.
According to a U.S. Department of Energy study, a federal renewable energy standard of 20 percent would produce 11,000 construction jobs in the western portion of Kansas, more than 1,800 long-term jobs, $20 million in payments to landowners, and $20 million to counties where the wind turbines would be located.
It also would attract more wind turbine manufacturing plants to the state, Jackson said.
The CEP, which is part of the nonprofit Land Institute, commissioned the poll, which was conducted by Ayres, McHenry & Associates.
The survey sampled 600 registered voters across the state on April 26-29. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
The poll found:
• By a ratio of five to one, Kansans supported a renewable energy standard that would require utilities to generate more energy from wind and solar;
• Three out of four Kansans would be willing to pay between $2 and $5 more per month on their energy bills if it meant generating more renewable energy;
• Nearly nine in 10 Kansans believe that renewable energy will increase national security.
Of those surveyed, 36 percent identified themselves as Republicans, 27 percent Democratic, 33 percent independent, and the rest refused to say.