Wind power poll best in survey of attitudes toward energy projects

The survey results compared support for the following types of local projects near one’s home: a power plant, a nuclear power plant, a natural gas pipeline, oil drilling, a wind farm, natural gas drilling, and a power transmission line. Of the seven items on the list, wind turbines ranked first, with support at 69 percent overall, 66 percent among women, 67 percent among Tea Party members, and 73 percent among men. None of the other energy options received more than 50 percent overall support.

The telephone survey was conducted by Boston-based Saint Consulting Group, which tracks the politics of land use and advises developers.

Commented the company, "The 2011 Saint Index survey, which involves interviews with 1,000 adults annually … 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 …

"While 70 percent said they would prefer a wind farm 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.

Tom Gray,