FOR IMEDIATE RELEASE: May 28, 2015
AAEA Statewide Poll Shows 73% of State Voters Favor Building Power Line from Oklahoma to Arkansas & Tennessee
Little Rock, AR – Nearly three-quarters of Arkansas voters statewide support the proposed construction of a transmission line from Oklahoma to Arkansas and Tennessee that will deliver up to 500 megawatts of low-cost wind power to Arkansas, according to a new poll commissioned by the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA), released today.
The survey of 600 registered Arkansas voters was completed recently by Clint Reed, a Partner at Impact Management Group, a public affairs firm based in Little Rock. The survey included an oversample of 300 registered voters in the 12 counties along the proposed route of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line project.
According to the survey, Arkansans continue to view jobs and the economy as the most important issue facing the state by a wide margin. This overriding concern for the state economy is also reflected among reasons to support the Plains & Eastern Clean Line.
The fact that the project will bring $500 million in private investment to Arkansas and support hundreds of construction and manufacturing jobs received a favorable response from 85% of voters statewide and 82% inside the 12 county project area.
“Arkansans understand that advanced energy development means jobs and economic opportunity,” said Steve Patterson, Executive Director of AAEA. “High voltage direct current (HVDC) electricity transmission is another advanced energy technology that will add jobs to the Arkansas economy. The Plains & Eastern Clean Line will bring new infrastructure and economic benefits to Arkansas without requiring any public investment or subsidies.”
HVDC lines carry the same amount of energy as traditional AC lines while using narrower rights-of-way and fewer towers, which reduces land requirements. HVDC’s efficiency allows for the delivery of affordable energy to help maintain low electric rates. AAEA supports construction of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line, a project being developed by Clean Line Energy.
“This poll corresponds with other recent advanced energy surveys showing that 85% of Arkansas voters support increased use of renewable energy like wind and solar,” Patterson said. “Now we know that they also support construction of the transmission infrastructure that will deliver these renewable energy resources to Arkansas consumers.”
Among other reasons why Arkansas voters support the Plains and Eastern Clean Line project:
- Voters liked its capability to deliver enough wind energy to power more than 160,000 Arkansas homes with low-cost clean electricity (82%; 79% in the 12 county project area)
- Voters liked that construction of the transmission line will result in two years of full time employment for more than 100 workers at the General Cable manufacturing plant in Malvern, AR (82%; 79% in the 12 county project area).
Other key political findings in the AAEA Poll:
- 50% of Arkansas voters believe that things in Arkansas are headed in the right direction while 35% believe things have gotten off on the wrong track;
- Belief that the Arkansas economy is strong is highest (47%) since Impact Management Group began tracking the number in July, 2009;
- 75% disapprove of the job that Congress is doing;
- In a generic ballot for Congress, 46% of Arkansas voters said they would support a Republican candidate if the election were “today”; 38% indicated support for a Democrat;
- Governor Hutchinson leads all statewide office holders with 58%-28% favorability vs unfavorability. Sen. Tom Cotton is at 49%-37%; Sen. John Boozman is at 37%-21% and President Obama is at 39%-59%.
Telephone survey of 600 registered Arkansas voters. The survey was completed March 25-28, 2015 and has a margin of error of plus/minus 4.00 percentage points in (+/- 4.00%) in 95 out of 100 cases. The survey includes an oversample of 300 registered Arkansas voters in 12 counties along the proposed construction route of the transmission line. Those counties are Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Pope, Conway, Van Buren, Cleburne, White, Jackson, Cross, Poinsett and Mississippi.
Arkansas Advanced Energy Association is a business group dedicated to growing Arkansas’s economy by expanding our energy workforce and manufacturing base through the increased development, manufacture, and utilization of advanced energy technologies. www.arkansasadvancedenergy.com
Report Shows Economic Impacts of Advanced Energy in Arkansas
A report released in January 2015 by the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation (AAEF) shows that 25,000 Arkansans are working in the state’s advanced energy sector, with a total impact on the Arkansas economy of $2.8 billion in output. “The Economic Impact of Advanced Energy in Arkansas: A Survey of Business Activity in 2014” can be viewed or downloaded at www.arkansasadvancedenergyfoundation.org
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