Clean Energy Report: Saint Index-NIMBYism Strong, But Wind Preferred

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The Clean Energy Report — — published a report on the energy findings of the 2011 US Saint Index. David Clarke, senior editor for the environmental policy blog, posted the following entry on Sept. 29, 2011.

Seventy-nine percent of Americans in a recent poll say they don’t want new development in their local areas — a potentially bleak finding for transmission and renewable energy projects — but 70 percent also said they would prefer wind over any other form of energy project, according to a new survey by Boston-based Saint Consulting Group, which tracks the politics of land use and advises developers.

The 2011 Saint Index survey, which involves interviews with 1,000 adults annually, also found that those who say they oppose power plant siting in their hometowns has dropped from a peak of 75 percent in 2007 to 55 percent today, a finding that a Saint Consulting expert says reflects a growing recognition of the need for electricity. “Landfills, casinos and rock quarries are the most unwanted types of development projects,” according to a Sept. 29 summary of the survey.

While 70 percent said they would prefer a wind project over any other in their local area (26 percent oppose), and 75 percent strongly oppose nuclear power (22 percent support), opinions are narrower when it comes to fossil fuels. “A slim majority of Americans say yes to natural gas drilling, natural gas pipelines and power transmission lines, if such projects are proposed for their hometown. By similar margins, a narrow majority oppose local proposals for oil drilling and power plants,” according to the summary.

A subset of questions that for the first time dealt with issues related to the tea party found that 20 percent surveyed identified themselves as members of that party and that those members “are much more likely than the national average to support local drilling for oil and natural gas, a nuclear power plant project or a natural gas pipeline,” according to a separate release on tea party findings.

Overall, “NIMBYism is strongest in the Mid-Atlantic and West, but hostility to local development projects persists, regardless of region,” the survey found.

For full details, click on Saint Index 2011 – Energy.

For more information about the 2011 Saint Index, go to

The Saint Consulting Group offers free webinar presentations of  The Saint Index for general or specific industry sectors. For details, email Paul Mindus at

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