February 22, 2008 EnergyWashington.com
The popular notion of energy security (due in part to rhetoric coming out of Washington), as well as the rise in the price of oil and electricity, may be driving Americans to abide by siting decisions to build new power plants near or in their neighborhoods, according to an international development pollster, who has been tracking public opinion on energy infrastructure for a real estate developer clientèle.
The new polling data could indicate the public has turned a corner when it comes to the construction of new energy infrastructure. The change is significant, considering the states’ alarm over federal preemption authority in siting transmission lines, considered by many the most critical energy infrastructure weakness. Although the percentages of opposition are still relatively high, the pollster says there has been a substantial rise in the popularity and support for power plant construction in the last year. He notes that the rise is somewhat unprecedented in terms of the nation’s willingness to have new facilities built near homes and residential areas.