Most oppose government help for alt-energy firms

Sept. 26, 2011 at 2:28 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Most U.S. voters said they don't think government help is the best way to develop alternative energy sources, a Rasmussen Report survey indicated.

Fifty-seven percent of likely U.S. voters said they think free-market competition is more likely to help the country develop alternative sources of energy rather than government subsidies and regulation, results released Monday indicate. Twenty-seven percent said they think government subsidies and regulations were the better alternative.

Seventy-one percent of voters said private sector companies and investors were better than government officials when determining long-term benefits and potential of new technologies, results indicated.

If funding couldn't come from private sources, 17 percent of voters said they think the federal government should provide loan guarantees or loans to help keep such a company afloat, Rasmussen reports said. Fifty-nine percent said the government should not provide money for an alternative energy company after private investors refuse to invest in it.

The poll was conducted after it became known that California solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, with strong ties to President Obama, including campaign contributions, received $535 million loan guarantees from the federal government after private investors refused to invest further. Thirty-nine percent of voters said they followed recent news reports about Solyndra.

Results are based on national telephone surveys of 1,000 likely voters conducted on Saturday and Sunday. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

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