Young West Virginia Voters Demand More Renewable Energy

As part of its Fix It action plan for the 2024 election, Conservation West Virginia commissioned a poll of 320 voters between the ages of 18 and 40 in seven large counties. The results are clear. Young voters want our politicians to clear the way for more renewable energy in the state to reduce energy costs, create new jobs, and keep young people from leaving the state.

The poll was conducted in May 2024 by Embold Research in Jefferson, Berkeley, Monongalia, Harrison, Marion, Wood and Ohio counties.  Anyone who believes that West Virginia is wedded to coal will be surprised by the results.

Voters were polled on their beliefs about climate change and extreme weather events. 82% believed that climate change is occurring, and it is mostly caused by human activities. 78% believe that extreme weather events have become more frequent in West Virginia in recent years, although most believe that these events are only somewhat more frequent.

Overall, 92% of all voters, including Democrats, Independents and Republicans, were concerned about the rising cost of electricity. But party affiliation determined beliefs on fossil fuels – while 84% of all voters believe that fossil fuels are polluting our air and water only 49% of Republican voters do. And while 78% of all young voters believe that coal and other fossil fuels are causing overheating and extreme weather events, only 25% of Republican voters do.

There was one unmistakable point of unanimity among voters of all party affiliation — the importance of stewardship of our natural environment. 100% of voters polled believe it is important to preserve West Virginia’s water, air and land and to leave a clean environment for future generations.

The vast majority of voters polled – 82% — believe that renewable energy will have a positive impact, resulting in more quality jobs for West Virginians. And 83% of all voters polled are concerned about politicians in Charleston blocking development of renewable energy sources like solar and wind.

Download Embold Research Topline Polling Results