In recent elections, voters have called for big changes to how government operates and they have made it clear that they want innovative solutions under Republican leadership. According to a recent Morning Consult poll on governor favorability ratings, Republican governors are delivering on these solutions that Americans across the country want and expect.
In fact, the poll showed that the eleven most popular governors nationwide are all Republicans. Notably, three CRES champions who have demonstrated consistent leadership in advancing clean energy policy, Governors Charlie Baker (R-MA), Phil Scott (R-VT), and Chris Sununu (R-NH), were among the top fifteen most popular. Their popularity proves once again what CRES has seen in election after election—that embracing clean energy solutions is not only smart policy, it is also smart politics.
Governor Charlie Baker’s decisive action in supporting clean energy and conservation for the Bay State has helped him to earn a 75 percent approval rating, making him the most popular governor in the nation. Last year, as a co-signer of the Governor’s Accord for a New Energy Future, Governor Baker worked with a bipartisan group of 17 governors to promote clean energy reforms that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy waste. Additionally, he signed a bipartisan bill, An Act Relative to Energy Diversity, to create a long-term plan for sustainable solar development, expand Massachusetts’ solar industry, and make progress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Commonwealth.
Upon signing the bill, Governor Charlie Baker said, “Massachusetts is always at the forefront of adopting innovative clean energy solutions, and this legislation will allow us to build on that legacy and embrace increased amounts of renewable energy, including hydropower. With our partners in the Legislature, the Commonwealth has taken another major step towards providing residents and businesses with a cost-effective and reliable clean energy future.”
Vermont Governor Phil Scott began his term in January, and is already working to implement clean energy solutions for the Green Mountain State. His commitment to commonsense energy policy has helped to earn him a 68 percent approval rating. In demonstrating a strong commitment to commonsense bipartisan leadership, Scott pledged to uphold his Democratic predecessor’s long-term clean energy reform, a move that ensures that 90 percent of the energy used in Vermont will be derived from renewable sources by 2050.
Recently, Governor Scott filmed a video with CRES emphasizing the importance of Vermont’s clean energy future, where he noted, “[w]e’ve seen a revival of new technology, in the solar industry in particular. I believe that energy independence is in our future. If we want to distance ourselves from the problems associated with fossil fuels and some of the foreign oil investments, we should become energy independent. Between conservation, working with our neighbors, working regionally throughout the Northeast, I believe that 90 percent renewable by 2050 is capable.”
Similar to Governor Scott, Chris Sununu began his first term as New Hampshire’s governor in January. Sununu, the son of former Governor John Sununu has already proven to be a proactive and sensible energy leader, which has helped him receive a 55 percent approval rating among voters in the Granite State. For instance, Governor Sununu confirmed the state’s commitment to advancing renewable energy reform in his inaugural address, reserving time to focus on lowering the cost of local-sourced renewable energy, calling for “sensible, long-term planning” on policy, and pointing to the Granite State’s opportunity to be a “shining example” of renewable energy. Additionally, Sununu’s 100 Businesses in 100 Days initiative emphasized the importance of holding discussions with the energy industry to reduce energy costs for New Hampshire homeowners and create good-paying jobs in the state.
CRES is encouraged to see the nation’s positive response to commonsense, clean energy leadership from New England’s Republican governors. We applaud Governors Charlie Baker, Phil Scott and Chris Sununu for exceeding their constituents’ expectations, revolutionizing New England’s renewable energy economy, and popularly conserving America’s valuable natural resources for future generations.