Californians Favor More Nuclear Plants, Poll Says : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Californians Favor More Nuclear Plants, Poll Says (KFWB/AP) --

California's energy problems has apparently shifted opinion on nuclear power plants, with a majority of the state supporting the construction of more nuclear plants in the state, according to a Field Poll released today.

The bill also found strong support for federal price caps on the price of wholesale power.

Fifty-nine percent of those questioned in the Field Institute survey said they supported building more nuclear plants to provide additional electricity. Thirty-six percent were opposed.

That's a sharp turnaround from the strong opposition to nuclear power that developed after the accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania in 1979. A Field Poll taken in 1984 found that 61 percent opposed more nuclear plants.

At the same time, those questioned in the new poll were split 48 percent to 40 percent against putting more reliance on coal-fired power plants.

Gov. Gray Davis said Tuesday that he has not ruled out building additional nuclear plants -- the state has two -- but he noted that a law enacted in 1976 bars additional nuclear plants in California until the federal government finds a safe way to dispose of nuclear waste.

"There are a number of hurdles the nuclear power industry has to get over," he said.

The poll also found that:

-- 70 percent of those questioned said the federal government should cap wholesale electricity prices.

-- 54 percent support legislation signed by Davis that created a public power authority to build and operate new power plants, and 51 percent back the state buying power lines from financially strapped private utilities.

But those questioned were almost evenly split over whether Davis should seize privately owned power plants if they raise energy prices this summer. Forty-four percent support plant seizures, but 48 percent are opposed.

-- 51 percent say it's more important to maintain air quality standards than to relax them to produce more electricity. Forty-one percent disagree. But 53 percent would favor relaxing those standards in some areas to get older power plants back on line.

-- 44 percent support drilling more oil and natural gas wells in state tidelands along the coast, and 48 percent are opposed.

-- 52 percent oppose the decision by Davis and the Legislature to sell $13.4 billion in bonds to repay the state treasury for power purchases. Thirty-eight percent support the bonds.

The poll, which questioned 1,015 California adults between May 11 and May 20, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points, the institute said.

-- PHO (, May 23, 2001


Wait until the end of summer. Those figures will be all changed around.

-- Wellesley (, May 23, 2001.

The figure that astounded me was 59% of Californians now favor more nuclear power plants, to 36% opposed. I had to do a double-take on those percentages. It's hard to imagine, with the way Hollywood has pounded nukes, and the greens of that state have been so successful in demonizing nuclear power.

-- LillyLP (, May 23, 2001.

Has anyone noted that no pollster ever asks about transmission lines? If they asked would you approve a new transmission line being constructed over your home the vote would be 99% opposed, l/10% for, and the usual lunatic fringe, 9/10%, with no opinion.

-- RogerT (, May 23, 2001.

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