New Jerseyans want clean energy – choose renewables over fossil fuel pipelines


ReThink Energy NJ, a campaign dedicated to reducing fossil fuel use and bringing clean, renewable energy to New Jersey, today released the results of a new poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind™ that shows New Jerseyans continue to very strongly support clean, renewable energy over fossil fuels; want the state to switch more quickly to those sources; and have concerns about harm from pipelines.

“We’re proud to stand with hardworking New Jerseyans who want what’s best for their families and their state,” said Tom Gilbert, campaign director, ReThink Energy NJ and New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “It’s time to stop putting utility company profits over the common-sense energy needs of our state.  Moving to clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar will create more jobs and healthier communities for our families.”

The five key poll takeaways are:

  • 87% believe investing in renewable energy is “very” or “somewhat” important to the overall health of New Jersey, including 96% of Democrats, 83% of Republicans, and 82% of Independents.
  • Given a choice of two opposing statements, nearly two-thirds (61%) believe pipelines threaten New Jersey, and only one third (32%) believe they help, virtually unchanged from the last study.
  • 71% say it is more important for the state to invest in clean energy sources than in fossil fuels (20%), with 63% believing the state is developing and adopting renewable energy too slowly.
  • Overall, 75% favor New Jersey’s next Governor moving to the higher goal of sourcing 30% of energy from renewable sources by 2020 and 50% by 2030.
  • 68% favor a target of 80% renewable energy in the state by 2050.

The poll findings were announced at a State House press conference attended by numerous legislators from both parties that also marked the one-year anniversary of ReThink Energy NJ. ReThink Energy NJ was established to inform and empower New Jerseyans about the need for a swift transition to clean, renewable energy, and away from dirty, outdated fuels and pipelines that threaten health and safety. ReThink Energy NJ was launched by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance.

Consistent with what was observed in an FDU PublicMind poll last year, support for renewable energy was found across all political parties and demographic groups, with the strongest support among women, younger residents, and Democrats. These demographic differences are consistent with the general trend in public opinion on environmental issues.

“When you look at these poll results it paints a very clear picture of how strongly New Jerseyans want clean energy in their state, particularly in the form of renewables,” said Krista Jenkins, director, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind™. “The poll results illustrate how important voters feel renewables are to the overall health of New Jersey.”

When asked about a variety of potential risks linked to pipeline development in the state, the clear majority of respondents say they would be “very” or “somewhat concerned” with each of the risks listed below.

 Risks from Pipelines



Eminent domain



The impact to natural areas 



The risks to air and water quality



The use of open space for pipelines



The safety risks 



The full 2016 “Attitudes on Energy in New Jersey” PublicMind poll report is available for download on the ReThink Energy NJ website.