New OC Survey Shows Great Support for Clean Tech, Green Jobs

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Contact: Dan Chmielewski
Madison Alexander PR
(949) 231-2965

Today’s “State of the County” survey by Brandman University’s Center for Sustainable Living demonstrates significant support within Orange County for clean technology initiatives, particularly when linked to job creation and economic growth.

Finding #1: OC Residents Believe that Reducing Fossil Fuel Use is Critical to Growing our Economy

According to the survey, nearly nine of every ten (87%) Orange County residents believe that it is important for the United States to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels (58 percent Very important and 29 percent Somewhat important).

The most important reasons cited for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, however, have to do with national security and the economy, not climate change or environmental degradation. A majority (56 percent) believe that it is very important to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels because it makes us dependent on foreign oil sources, and 57 percent say it is very important because our dependence on coal, oil, gasoline and natural gas contributes to terrorism by putting money in the hands of people who hate us. Fifty-seven percent view the negative impact on our economy (by forcing us to borrow money from nations such as China) as a very important reason for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Less than half (46 percent), however, endorse “Hurts the environment by increasing pollution and contributing to climate change” as a very important reason for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

All alternatives to reduce dependence upon fossil fuels enjoy widespread support (71 percent to 85 percent “Favor”). Nuclear energy is the least popular (58 percent), but it is still favored by a majority of Orange County adults. Forty-three percent say that government is not doing enough to protect the environment, while 37 percent say that government is doing just enough. Only one-fifth of the sample (20 percent) says that California is doing more than enough to protect the environment.

Residents’ desire to improve the environment is tempered by their concern for jobs and the economy. Forty-three percent agreed with the statement that “stricter environmental laws cost jobs,” which is up from 28 percent in 2000, and 50 percent agree with the statement that “stricter environmental laws are worth the cost,” which is down from 62 percent in 2000. Developing a local economy that is both green and prosperous is one of our greatest policy challenges.

Finding #2: OC Residents Believe that “Green” Jobs are Going Mainstream

According to the survey, as the Orange County high-tech industry is leveling off and green jobs are entering the mainstream, residents believe strongly that the green jobs market, including jobs in areas such as solar power, energy conservation, renewable materials and electric vehicles, will grow to employ thousands of workers in Orange County (20 percent “Very likely,” 48 percent “Somewhat likely,” and 33 percent “Not very likely”). Respondents across all income categories are optimistic about the potential for growth in the green jobs sector, however those viewing this eventuality as most probable (80 percent “Very” or “Somewhat likely”) earn less than $40,000 per year.

Over three-fourths of respondents believe that it is “Very important” (47 percent) or “Somewhat important” (32 percent) for local government to actively promote green jobs and a green economy in Orange County. Significantly more 18 to 34-year-olds (62 percent) view active local government promotion of the green sector as “very important” than among those 35 to 54 (49 percent) and among older respondents (42 percent).

Finding #3: OC Residents Believe that Hybrid and Electric Vehicles are Now a Viable Alternative

According to the survey, approximately half of Orange County residents appear ready to embrace the wide array of electric vehicles that will begin to hit the American market over the next 18 months. A majority of residents (51 percent) would seriously consider purchasing a fully electric car that can travel at least 100 miles without having to be recharged (46 percent would not).

About CleanTech OC

CleanTech OC is a new trade association that seeks to establish Orange County as a center of clean technology innovation, investment, research and development, and job creation for tomorrow's green economy. CleanTech OC focuses on companies involved in renewable energy generation, resource conservation, green buildings and construction, green chemistry, and alternative fuel vehicles. For more information, please visit

About the Brandman University 2010 State of the County Survey

The Brandman University 2010 State of the County Survey was a telephone survey of 675 adults conducted April 15, 2010 through April 27, 2010. Full results of the Brandman University 2010 State of the County survey can be found at

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All company names are trademarks of their respective owners. CleanTech OC is a trademark of CleanTech OC, a not-for-profit trade association.

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