It’s puzzling that some red state politicians resist renewable energy development. Some of the best renewable energy resources are often found in remote, rural and impoverished areas, some suffering from the decline of fossil fuels. In many of these areas, renewables are creating economic opportunity for communities trying to find new sources of growth, jobs and tax revenue.

For example, deep in coal country West Virginia, it has been known for more than a decade that the state contains geothermal resources that could be suited for heating, cooling, or even clean electricity with the right incentives. Wind resources suitable for utility-scale development, in areas with wind speeds around 6.5 meters per second and at an 80-m height, closely corresponds to a band of red states in the middle of the American heartland. Meanwhile, the southwestern United States receives a significant amount of solar radiation annually, making the region one of the most economically attractive regions for PV in the country.

However, not all red states are resisting. For example, Arizona ranks second in the country for solar installed capacity of 2.3 GW in December 2015. Texas currently has 18.5 GW of  installed wind capacity wind capacity. Iowa comes in second with 6.4 GW, Oklahoma has 5.4 GW and Kansas currently has another 3.8 GW. These states boast high potential for wind expansion, thanks to their central location which provides the vast majority of the nation’s best on-shore wind resources. Thus, the economic opportunity from job creation, abundant power supply and lower energy bills are all major drivers for wind support.

These incentives are helping shift the attitudes of some conservative lawmakers. Bloomberg reported this year that the top 10 wind-energy producing congressional districts are represented by Republicans, leading many of those lawmakers to adjust their stance on renewables to a more favorable one. In addition, a bipartisan group of twenty U.S. governors wrote to President Barack Obama earlier this fall, seeking the expansion of the country’s wind and solar energy production. The list includes notable conservative and liberal governors from a mix of both red, blue and purple states. Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas (R), said it best at REFF Wall Street earlier this year, in that “Building a world-class wind industry in Kansas has demonstrated that a market-driven approach to renewable energy can and will benefit industry and consumers alike. Recognizing how wind power has helped strengthen communities throughout the state, he notes how “We’ve seen massive investment [in wind] and we want to see that continue to take place and grow even faster.”

It’s not only politicians that support renewable energy development. A Gallup poll from earlier this year found that seventy-three percent of Americans say they prefer emphasizing alternative energy as the solution to the nation’s energy problems, rather than gas and oil production. Furthermore, Gallup suggested “this year marks the first time a majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents prefer an alternative energy strategy. The 51% of Republicans who now favor alternative energy is up from the previous high of 46% in 2011.”

However, with the incoming presidential administration more in favor of coal and gas, the long-term future of renewable energy development in the U.S. now remains uncertain. Despite this, one thing is clear; that there is a contingency of Republican lawmakers who stand to lose if renewable energy production stumbles. Not only is the opportunity to use renewable energy as a vehicle to grow the economy in red states prominent, but there is support from their constituents as well. Which is why it will be up to state leaders to continue their support for renewable development.