More than 42 percent of Michigan potential voters think the state should dramatically reduce its reliance on electricity generated from coal over the next 25 years as technology improves and costs decrease for other sources, according to a recent poll by Public Sector Consultants.
But only 13 percent favor a dramatic drop in coal-produced electricity over the next 10 years, even if it means electricity rates were to increase, according to the poll of 600 likely voters done by the Lansing public policy company and Denno Research.
Poll respondents were told before answering:
“Michigan produces 57 percent of its electricity from coal, 11 percent from natural gas, 22 percent from nuclear, and 10 percent from renewable energy sources. Of these sources, coal is the source that produces the greatest amount of carbon emissions, a component of climate change. As you think about balancing Michigan’s energy needs with the price of electricity on one hand, and the environment on the other, which of the following statements comes closest to your beliefs?”
- More than a quarter (27.5 percent) said Michigan should continue to use coal until other sources of energy are as cheap or cheaper.
- Those who thought Michigan’s mix of electricity sources is appropriate and not in need of change in the next 10 to 25 years amounted to 11.5 percent
- Unsure – 5.7 percent
The pollsters said that 54 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Independents opt for phasing out coal over 25 years, while 40 percent of Republicans want to use coal until a more affordable option is available.
Related stories on Echo:
- Great Lakes states examine alternatives to coal-fired power plants
- Ontario shuns coal; will other provinces follow?
All stories about coal and electricity here.