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Why Republicans and Democrats Can Meet in the Middle for Green Energy

By Prachi Patel ~ Anthropocene ~

The US is more politically divided than it ever has been. It is hard for Democrats and Republicans to find common ground, certainly not on environmental issues. But people across the political spectrum favor renewable energy, new research confirms.

The study, published in Environmental Politics, found that the key word is self-sufficiency. Voters on both sides of the aisle agree that rooftop solar panels and energy conservation are a financially wise move and a step towards being able to take care of yourself.

Renewable energy is considered a partisan issue in the US. Those on the political left are generally thought to support and renewable energy much more so than those on the right. But a 2016 Pew Research Center study has shown that 83 percent of Republicans and 97 percent of Democrats like solar farms. Both red and blue states also support energy efficiency and carbon-cutting policies. And as the cost of solar power has gone down, the demographics of solar buyers are changing.

Since Republicans usually show little support for environmental concerns, sociologists Christine Horne and Emily Kennedy wanted to find out what is behind conservative support of renewables.

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