Friday, February 19, 2010

Rasmussen Tracks Nuclear Energy

polls-vs-results-feb5 Rasmussen Reports has released a new poll on nuclear energy in the wake of President Obama’s loan guarantee announcement. Bottom line:

49% of Americans favor the building of new nuclear power plants. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are opposed to the idea, and 24% are not sure.

We’ve seen better, but given the mood of the country in general – or at least Rasmussen’s read of it – we’re not terribly surprised. (Last year, Gallup had support for nuclear energy at 59%.) Does this mean support has shrunk – no, at least not necessarily, because Gallup and Rasmussen use different surveys, stress items differently, etc. We’d need more polls and even then, not use them to draw conclusions. The goal for advocates is to see what the trends are so one one can correct public misperceptions or weaknesses in the message. But this isn’t advertising: lies not allowed.

Here’s a few other tidbits:

Sixty-one percent (61%) of adults now believe that finding new sources of energy is more important than reducing the amount of energy Americans consume. Thirty-two percent (32%) say energy conservation is more important. These findings have remained relatively consistent for months.

This strikes us as fairly honest on the part of the polled – who wants to have the big screen TV shut off right before the voting results on American Idol?

The gender gap in energy issues continues – we’ve seen some polls that show a narrowing in this metric. Not Rasmussen, though:

Forty-seven percent (47%) of women say the billions in loan guarantees for new nuclear power plants would be better spent on the development of alternative new energy sources, a view shared by just 36% of men.

We wonder if Rasmussen explained what loan guarantees are – to a lot of people, we’re reasonably sure they sound like a handout, especially with the word “billions” attached to them. Regardless, the negatives still polled under 50% for both men and women, not bad.

So – a mixed bag. We took a look at some other recent Rasmussen findings:

61% Say Government Should Keep Out of Housing Market

Only 21% Say U.S. Government Has Consent of the Governed

28% Say U.S. Heading In Right Direction

34% Favor Raising Taxes On Those Making More Than $100,000

35% Say Stimulus Has Helped Economy, 33% Say It Has Hurt

Those are, shall we say, some very sour results. We’re surprised, in this context, that nuclear energy did as well as it did.

Polls, polls, polls! 35% think cats taste better with mustard, 25% ketchup, the rest undecided.

2 comments:

Rod Adams said...

Mark - the NEI needs to work hard to make sure that people understand that the government is NOT spending money by issuing loan guarantees. There is no such alternative as spending that money on other renewable energy sources.

The flow of money is FROM the industry to the government in the form of loan origination fees.

(I know that the language of the law is that those fees are called "subsidy payments" but that is wording that appears designed to turn people against the program because they have been trained to believe that subsidies for industry are BAD.)

The industry needs to help its supporters by spending a bit of money to beat this drum - there is NO government money being spent through the loan guarantee program. Its demise would NOT result in those billions going to wind or solar projects because the billions are not the government's money to spend.

David Bradish said...

the government is NOT spending money by issuing loan guarantees.

In Vogtle's case, the loans are coming from the Federal Financing Bank. At the end of the program, though, the government should definitely be making money through the fees like you say.