|Recent Study Shows Texans Concerned About Cleaner Air Yet Unaware that Electricity Generation Is Leading Cause of Air Pollution|
Texas leads the nation in air pollution from coal-fired power plants
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Austin, TX — October 5, 2004 — According to results from a Green Mountain Energy Company survey released today, when given a choice only 5 percent of Texas adults and 2 percent of Texas teens correctly identified electricity generation as the number one cause of air pollution in the state. However, "Cleaner air" was the most popular response when respondents were asked to choose one thing they would change about the environment.
"Clearly Texans believe that cleaner air is important, but what they don't understand is the connection between how electricity is made and the quality of the air in the state," said John Savage, senior vice president of marketing for Green Mountain Energy Company. "Support for cleaner electricity will benefit Texas in a variety of ways, from the environment to the economy to job creation."
Texas led the nation in carbon dioxide (C02) emissions from coal fired power plants in 2003 — accounting for more than 243 million tons of C02 emissions, similar to adding an additional 43 million cars to Texas roads. And according to a recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists, renewable energy development could spur $10 billion in capital investment, $665 million in property tax revenues for small towns and school districts, and nearly 50,000 jobs in Texas by 2020 if a national 20 percent renewable electricity standard were adopted.
Savage added, "Texas consumers have the potential to lead the way in developing and driving the market for safe and secure, locally produced energy from cleaner sources such as wind, water and the sun. We've seen over and over again that when folks are informed and educated about these topics, they tend to make the decision that bodes best for the future of Texas."
Although most respondents did not understand that electricity production is the leading cause of air pollution in Texas, nearly 87 percent of the teens and adults surveyed believe they can have some personal impact on air pollution in Texas. In addition, nearly 82 percent of parents polled believe their children influence how they think about the environment and what they buy for the home.
"I decided to sign up for renewable electricity because I have a young daughter, age 4, and I feel this is one way we can help secure a safe environment for her future," said Mark Varel, a Green Mountain Energy customer. "I think it makes a big difference when you know the facts and realize there is something each and every one of us can do to effect change."
The survey was conducted online in September of 2004 to 1,007 adults and 500 teens age 12-17 in Texas.
Highlights of the research
About Green Mountain Energy Company
Founded in 1997 to "change the way power is made", Green Mountain Energy Company offers residential, business, institutional and governmental customers the choice to support cleaner electricity generated from sources such as wind, solar, water, geothermal, biomass and natural gas. Due to Green Mountain Energy Company's efforts, about 600,000 customers nationwide are purchasing electricity that is significantly less polluting than typical system power. The company is based in Austin, Texas.
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