A poll of 550 total students at the University of Arkansas revealed that an incredible 80.91% of them support the continued use of clean coal for Arkansas energy.
The poll was conducted from May 2-4, 2017 at both the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and Little Rock campuses.
The students were asked “Do you support the continued use of clean coal to keep electricity prices affordable, protect jobs, and help grow the Arkansas economy?” 445 out of 550 Arkansas college aged students replied “Yes.”
One student named Matt, who attends school at the Fayetteville campus, said, “If coal is powering Arkansas now for cheap and creating numerous jobs why move away from it? If it’s not broke don’t fix it.”
While it is easy to see how Arkansas lives up to its nickname “The Natural State” with its extensive and beautiful forests, mountains, and rivers, Arkansas fulfills its other nickname, “The Land of Opportunity,” with low energy prices.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Association, Arkansas has the 8th lowest retail energy prices in the
United States at 8.19 cents/kWh. This is mainly due to the State’s dependence on coal, as Arkansas used 339.2 billion BTUs from coal to power its economy in 2014. In 2015, the State obtained 39% of its total energy production from coal.
While Arkansas electricity rates have been some of the lowest in the nation over the last several years, the Arkansas unemployment rate has seemed to follow suit. According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Arkansas unemployment rate is at 3.6%, making it the 13th lowest unemployment rate in the United States.
Based on a report done by the Institute for Energy Research, economic growth and unemployment rates are greatly linked to a State’s energy prices. Lower prices means economic growth and jobs.
According to the poll, students in Arkansas overwhelmingly understand this link. They want to protect their chances of getting a job and moving out of their parents’ house after graduating by keeping the Arkansas economy growing through clean coal technologies.