Poll: Voters skeptical of fed's energy agenda

A poll released Tuesday by the conservative group American Energy Alliance (AEA) found that 65 percent of likely voters want their state, not the federal government, to decide what energy sources power their electricity supply.

The survey, which questioned 1,005 likely voters with a 3.1 percent margin of error, asked a number of questions surrounding the administration's energy policies.

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When asked if states should be penalized for failing to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposal to cut carbon pollution from the nation's fleet of existing power plants, 52 percent of those surveyed said no, phrasing it as a "bad" move.

Additionally 60 percent of likely voters said states should not be forced to turn to renewable energy to meet the emissions reduction target.

"The American people don't have faith in the federal government to make their energy choices for them and for good reason," said Thomas Pyle, president of AEA, in an email to The Hill.

"The federal government has been giving special treatment to green energy for decades either directly through handouts like the wind [Production Tax Credit] or indirectly through red tape like EPA’s proposed power plant rule," Pyle added.

For its part, the EPA has stressed that the rules give states broad flexibility to craft a design of its choosing to meet reductions, and the agency said it will continue "unprecedented" outreach to answer questions, and work with stakeholders.

The survey also found that 77 percent of voters don't trust Congress to implement tax credits for companies, and 65 percent think 20 years is "long enough" for tax credits afforded to the wind power industry.

In an earlier question, however, 51 percent of voters said they think credits to the wind industry are a "good thing."

Mike McKenna, president of MWR Strategies, who conducted the survey for AEA, said "voters are pretty skeptical of all facets of the wind production tax credit."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he plans to bring legislation that would extend tax credits for renewable energy sources, like wind, to the floor for a vote before the end of the year.