SmallBiz Vote

Small business owners say clean energy policies are good for growth

Clean air standards are good for business, survey says

A majority of small business owners in six U.S. states support EPA standards and believe they're conducive to job creation and economic growth. That's according to results of a survey of 600 small business owners in Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia commissioned by the Small Business Majority, an advocacy group focused on policies that create jobs and maximize business opportunities and cost savings for small businesses.

Although more than half of survey respondents said their businesses would be impacted by EPA oversight of greenhouse gas emissions, more than three-quarters agreed that EPA should determine limits on new power plants' emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, and 56 percent support EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, even if it would bring increased utility prices. More than 80 percent surveyed support new EPA requirements to reduce emissions of mercury and other toxics from power plants.

"Across all industries and at both ends of the political spectrum, entrepreneurs overwhelmingly support government investing in renewable energy and creating clean energy policies that will help guide them into a new economic sector where they can do business," Small Business Majority founder and CEO John Arensmeyer reported. "Entrepreneurs believe that government investments in clean energy can create jobs."

Respondents to the Small Business Majority survey seemed unfazed by last year's Solyndra debacle. The California company put 1,100 people out of work when it went bankrupt two years after receiving a $535 million federal loan guarantee based on estimates that it would create 4,000 jobs. Arensmeyer reported that 58 percent of survey respondents agreed that "Solyndra's downfall doesn't mean government should ditch efforts to invest in renewable technologies."

"Entrepreneurs want to be part of the competitive, modern economy [that] renewable technologies and clean air standards can create—but they need help getting there," said Arensmeyer. "Government investments in renewable technologies and EPA clean air standards can help ensure American entrepreneurs see long-term economic benefits that allow them to retain their status as the backbone of our economy."

Do you agree with the business owners surveyed? Do you support EPA gas emissions regulations even to the point of increased utility costs? Do you believe government investment in clean energy could help your business? Tell us why and how in the comments.

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