Americans Feel the Pinch of Rising Energy Costs

Poll Shows Widespread Concerns About Impact of California Energy Crisis



Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Americans For Balanced Energy Choices

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- More and more Americans are
 feeling the pain of increased energy costs, and many are worried that the
 California energy crisis will have a direct effect on them.  Those are the
 findings of a national poll released today by Americans for Balanced Energy
 Choices (ABEC), a national non-profit, non-partisan organization that promotes
 an ongoing dialogue with community leaders in support of a balanced national
 energy policy.
     According to the survey (conducted April 4 - 11, 2001), 87 percent of
 those responding said that they have experienced an increase in household
 energy expenditures over the past year.  The majority (59%) said that they had
 seen personal household energy expenditures increase a "great deal."
     While the news media has been focused on the near collapse of electricity
 markets in California, a surprisingly high number of respondents said that
 they feel the California crisis will get worse before it improves and will
 affect them personally.  Seventy-one percent said that they expect the
 situation in California to worsen in the coming months.  Perhaps more
 troubling, 88 percent of the respondents say that the crisis in California
 will negatively affect the U.S. economy and 72 percent feel that the situation
 will have a negative impact on them personally.
     "It is a shame that it has taken a situation as bad as the one in
 California to force us to recognize that America is facing a looming energy
 crisis," said Stephen L. Miller, president of ABEC.  "We're using more energy
 every day, and the time has come to develop balanced energy policies that
 ensure reliable and affordable supplies of energy while protecting the
 environment."
     Through the ABEC campaign, more than 12,000 recognized community leaders
 are discussing strategies for balancing America's growing demand for
 electricity in the 21st century with the need to protect the environment.  The
 group supports a national policy that allows all domestic energy sources --
 including coal, America's most abundant energy resource -- to play a role in
 meeting our growing demand for power.  The group's mission has strong support
 among the public.
     According to the survey, nearly three-fourths of the public supports a
 comprehensive energy policy that includes all fuels -- including electricity
 from coal.
     "Here in Ohio, nearly 90 percent of the electricity we consume comes from
 coal.  Any effort to remove low-cost coal from our energy mix would mean
 higher energy bills for Ohio consumers and businesses," said ABEC charter
 member Nancy Dix, former state senator and director of the Ohio Department of
 Commerce.  "As we formulate a new national energy policy, we must balance the
 laudable goal of a cleaner environment with a recognition of the potential
 economic impact on our state of eliminating coal-based electricity."
     "The cost of a failed energy policy is too high," said Miller, "especially
 for senior citizens and others who live on low and fixed-incomes and who can
 least afford to pay more for energy.  That is why we are encouraged that
 policy makers in Washington and in state houses across the country are
 focusing on energy issues and we pledge our support to participate in a
 constructive dialogue that aids in meeting this challenge."
     The survey was conducted for ABEC by Market Strategies of Alexandria,
 Virginia, and included a national sample of 1,000 adults nationwide.  The
 survey has a margin-of-error of +/- 3.1 percent.
 
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SOURCE Americans For Balanced Energy Choices
    COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- More and more Americans are
 feeling the pain of increased energy costs, and many are worried that the
 California energy crisis will have a direct effect on them.  Those are the
 findings of a national poll released today by Americans for Balanced Energy
 Choices (ABEC), a national non-profit, non-partisan organization that promotes
 an ongoing dialogue with community leaders in support of a balanced national
 energy policy.
     According to the survey (conducted April 4 - 11, 2001), 87 percent of
 those responding said that they have experienced an increase in household
 energy expenditures over the past year.  The majority (59%) said that they had
 seen personal household energy expenditures increase a "great deal."
     While the news media has been focused on the near collapse of electricity
 markets in California, a surprisingly high number of respondents said that
 they feel the California crisis will get worse before it improves and will
 affect them personally.  Seventy-one percent said that they expect the
 situation in California to worsen in the coming months.  Perhaps more
 troubling, 88 percent of the respondents say that the crisis in California
 will negatively affect the U.S. economy and 72 percent feel that the situation
 will have a negative impact on them personally.
     "It is a shame that it has taken a situation as bad as the one in
 California to force us to recognize that America is facing a looming energy
 crisis," said Stephen L. Miller, president of ABEC.  "We're using more energy
 every day, and the time has come to develop balanced energy policies that
 ensure reliable and affordable supplies of energy while protecting the
 environment."
     Through the ABEC campaign, more than 12,000 recognized community leaders
 are discussing strategies for balancing America's growing demand for
 electricity in the 21st century with the need to protect the environment.  The
 group supports a national policy that allows all domestic energy sources --
 including coal, America's most abundant energy resource -- to play a role in
 meeting our growing demand for power.  The group's mission has strong support
 among the public.
     According to the survey, nearly three-fourths of the public supports a
 comprehensive energy policy that includes all fuels -- including electricity
 from coal.
     "Here in Ohio, nearly 90 percent of the electricity we consume comes from
 coal.  Any effort to remove low-cost coal from our energy mix would mean
 higher energy bills for Ohio consumers and businesses," said ABEC charter
 member Nancy Dix, former state senator and director of the Ohio Department of
 Commerce.  "As we formulate a new national energy policy, we must balance the
 laudable goal of a cleaner environment with a recognition of the potential
 economic impact on our state of eliminating coal-based electricity."
     "The cost of a failed energy policy is too high," said Miller, "especially
 for senior citizens and others who live on low and fixed-incomes and who can
 least afford to pay more for energy.  That is why we are encouraged that
 policy makers in Washington and in state houses across the country are
 focusing on energy issues and we pledge our support to participate in a
 constructive dialogue that aids in meeting this challenge."
     The survey was conducted for ABEC by Market Strategies of Alexandria,
 Virginia, and included a national sample of 1,000 adults nationwide.  The
 survey has a margin-of-error of +/- 3.1 percent.
 
                       MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                  http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54710235
 
 SOURCE  Americans For Balanced Energy Choices