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8/16: Nearly Half of Residents Near Indian Point Want to Keep Power Plant Open


8/16: Nearly Half of Residents Near Indian Point Want to Keep Power Plant Open

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vows to shut down the Indian Point nuclear power plant.  However, according to this NY1/YNN-Marist Poll, nearly half of residents who live near the plant — 49% — oppose closing it.  Four in ten — 40% — favor shutting it down, and 11% are unsure.

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Click Here for Complete August 16th, 2011 NYS NY1/YNN-Marist Poll Release and Tables

“After all these years, this remains a highly charged issue,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Governor Cuomo still has some convincing to do.”

Key points:

  • Among registered voters who live near Indian Point, 48% want to keep the power plant open while 42% want it shut down.  One in ten — 10% — is unsure.
  • Nearly six in ten residents in communities near Indian Point who earn less than $50,000 annually — 59% — are more likely to support keeping the plant operational than those who earn more than $50,000 annually — 43%.
  • There are also age differences.  55% of those younger than 45 years old in this region want to keep Indian Point open.  44% of those over 45 agree.

The use of nuclear power as an energy source is supported, overall, by a slim majority of New Yorkers.  52% of adults statewide are proponents of doing so while 36% oppose it.  11% are unsure.

Key points:

  • Among registered voters, 55% support nuclear power, 34% oppose it, and 11% are unsure.
  • While 70% of Republican voters statewide approve of the use of nuclear power, 53% of non-enrolled voters and 47% of Democrats have this view.
  • Majorities of residents who live upstate — 58% — and in the suburbs of New York City — 56% — support using nuclear power as an energy source.  This compares with 46% of adults in New York City.
  • Older New Yorkers are more likely to support nuclear power than younger residents.  55% of those 45 and older share have this view compared with 48% of those who are younger.
  • There are gender differences on this question.  More than six in ten men — 62% — think nuclear power is a good energy source.  44% of women agree.

Table: Favor or Oppose Closing Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant (Adults Near Indian Point)

Table: Favor or Oppose Closing Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant (Registered Voters Near Indian Point)

Table: Support or Oppose Nuclear Power as Energy Source (NYS Adults)

Table: Support or Oppose Nuclear Power as Energy Source (Registered Voters)

Nuclear Concerns: Slim Majority Fear Nuclear Emergency

In March, Japan suffered a catastrophic nuclear disaster.  What are the chances that such an emergency could occur in New York State?  51% of adults statewide say it’s either very likely or likely.  This includes 16% who believe a nuclear emergency is very likely and 35% who think it is likely.  32% say it’s not very likely to happen in New York while 12% don’t think such a nuclear emergency will happen at all.  Five percent are unsure.

Key points:

  • Similar proportions of registered voters share these views.  Half — 50% — report a nuclear disaster is either very likely or likely to happen.  34% say it’s not very likely to occur while 12% think the possibility of a nuclear emergency in New York is not likely at all.  Four percent are unsure.
  • 57% of New Yorkers who are 45 or older think there is a greater likelihood of a nuclear emergency in the state compared with 44% of those who are younger than 45 years old.
  • There are also gender differences.  Six in ten women — 60% — think there is a greater possibility of a nuclear disaster in New York than men — 42%.

If such an incident were to occur, 51% of New York State residents believe it would be caused by an accident at a nuclear power plant.  Nearly four in ten — 39% — would attribute it to a terror attack, and 11% are unsure.

Key points:

  • Among registered voters statewide, 52% would cite an accident as the cause of a nuclear emergency while 38% would blame a terror attack, and 10% are unsure.
  • Majorities of non-enrolled voters — 56% — and Democratic voters — 54% — think an accident would be behind a nuclear emergency.  Republican voters divide.  48% think it would happen due to an accident while 46% would suspect a terror attack.
  • More than six in ten upstate residents — 62% — and a plurality of those who live in the suburbs of New York City — 47% — would blame an accident for a nuclear disaster.  Adults in New York City divide.  43% would call such an incident an accident while 41% would say it is an act of terror.

Table: Possibility of Nuclear Power Plant Emergency (NYS Adults)

Table: Possibility of Nuclear Power Plant Emergency (Registered Voters)

Table: Cause of Hypothetical NY Nuclear Emergency (NYS Adults)

Table: Cause of Hypothetical NY Nuclear Emergency (Registered Voters)


Hydrofracking Draws Little Consensus Among New Yorkers

There is a difference of opinion among New Yorkers on the issue of hydrofracking.  37% oppose splitting underground rock to remove natural gas while 32% support it.  A notable 31% are unsure.

When NY1/YNN-Marist last asked this question in May, 41% were against hydrofracking, 38% favored it, and 21% were unsure.

Key points:

  • 37% of registered voters in New York oppose hydrofracking, 33% support it, and three in ten — 30% — are unsure.
  • Republicans — 43% — are more likely to support hydrofracking than non-enrolled voters — 37% — and Democrats — 28%.

The ban on drilling for natural gas may be lifted in New York State.  While parks, wildlife preserves, and sources of drinking water would not be touched, private property would be fair game.  Upstate, 54% of residents don’t want this type of drilling to take place in their town or city.

Two key arguments for hydrofracking are that it makes us independent from foreign oil and it creates jobs.  But, opponents point to keeping water supplies safe and protecting the environment.  Where do New Yorkers stand?

  • Nearly six in ten New Yorkers — 59% — believe preserving the water supply and environment is more important than making us independent from foreign oil.  About one-third — 33% — believe the opposite is true, and 7% are unsure.  In May, 56%, 39%, and 5%, respectively, held these views.

o   Similar proportions of registered voters believe this to be the case.  59% of voters statewide think preserving the water supply should be the priority, 35% state oil independence is more important, and 6% are unsure.  In NY1/YNN-Marist Poll’s previous survey, 57%, 39%, and 5%, respectively, had these opinions.

  • When weighed against job creation, 51% of adults statewide think preserving the water supply is the strongest argument while 41% believe creating jobs dominates the debate.  Eight percent are unsure.  These views are similar to those expressed in May.  At that time, 52% cited the water supply, 41% reported job creation, and 6% were unsure.

o   There has been a change among registered voters statewide.  Only half — 50% — now believe the argument for protecting the environment outweighs that for job creation — 44%.  6% are unsure.  This compares with 55%, 39%, and 6%, respectively, who held these views in May.

o   By party, there has been a decrease in the proportions of Democrats — 51% — who think the preservation of the water supply is the most compelling argument.  In May, 59% of Democrats had this opinion.  Looking at Republican voters, 44% believe the environment trumps job creation.  This compares with 47% who held this view in May.  Among non-enrolled voters, 56% choose preserving the water supply compared with 58% a few months ago.

Table: Support for Hydrofracking in NYS (NYS Adults)

Table: Support for Hydrofracking in NYS (Registered Voters)

Table: Ban on Drilling for Natural Gas in Town or City (Adults in Upstate NY)

Table: Ban on Drilling for Natural Gas in Town or City (Registered Voters in Upstate NY)

Table: Oil Independence vs. Preserving the Water Supply (NYS Adults)

Table: Oil Independence vs. Preserving the Water Supply (Registered Voters)

Table: Creating Jobs vs. Preserving the Water Supply (NYS Adults)

Table: Creating Jobs vs. Preserving the Water Supply (Registered Voters)

NY1/YNN-Marist Poll Methodology

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  1. H. Sprague

    August 22, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    The “Rock the Reactors” gibberish presented above would be amusing, if it were not the emotional engine of a good part of the anti-Indian Point organizing lately.

    Serious watchdogs have toned down their efforts, or left the scene entirely, allowing eccentric outliers to “speak” for the potential 3000-6000 actual committed antinukes in the region.

    We have in M. Elie & R. Chevalier, two very similar characters…. loners, without family, ….aging, flamboyant, passionate ( neurotically invested?), but empowered by social media, their combined outreach now commanding the 150 souls who show up at each demonstration.

    As a social club, 150 souls is not small potatoes. As an infrastructure planning organization attempting to derail the economic fate of 20 million citizens, it is not only ludicrous, but dangerous.

    Read the above post to get a feel for the tone and tenor of their imaginary universe.

  2. Rock The Reactors

    August 18, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    And who paid for this poll? Entergy I bet! What a farce, look what happened at Fukushima, what happened at Chernobyl… the horrendous cancer rate rise in the Peekskill, Buchanan area. And yet you say these people are for keeping Indian Point open? The only thing this proves is Jim Steets’s efficiency at spending money adequately to pull one over the eyes of very unaware, uneducated people they recruit in poor neighborhoods. They’ve managed by printing lies about nuclear power in school text books to brainwash an entire new generation of kids who are totally oblivious about the dangers. Japan is far away, this can’t happen here, not to us, we’re Americans! The Germans and the Italians must be stupid, right? And the French are our heroes because they’re stuck with so many leaking nuclear power plants, France has the greatest cancer rate of any other nation on Earth!!! This poll is a piece of crap, sponsored by a small cabal of garbage haulers who try to paint their rusty old bucket with a coat of red, white and blue paint, selling it to low IQ Tea Party folks, who don’t even realize they’re voting for right wing fascism. Indian Point is a grave threat to the Hudson Valley, to New York City, to Fairfield County, has always been. People just grew complacent. Morlocks run that plant. All the union guys I’ve spoken to who have worked there KNOW that what they are doing is messed up, but they do it, because it’s just a job. There’s no love loss. New York is held hostage by Indian Point, by these con artists from Louisiana. It’s time we kicked them out of the Paramount theater, the art organizations they lavish with bribes, the hospital emergency wings they build to keep doctors quiet about the epidemic of still births! Stop LYING Entergy! Just leave!

  3. Pingback: Marist Releases Dubious NY Opinion Poll on Fracking | Marcellus Drilling News

  4. H. Sprague

    August 17, 2011 at 6:52 AM

    I view that set of adults who have been convinced at any point in time to oppose Indian Point, as the hoped-for product of a long term, unrelenting negative PR effort perpetrated in cloud fashion (rather than in some organized conspiracy) by the combination of several professional NGO’s, a few pols, and a half dozen individuals & ad hoc wannabe NGO’s since at least 9/11/2001.

    This effort has consisted of earnest pleadings, frivolous lawsuits, planted media screeds, chain letters, flashmob-type gatherings intended to generate vidbytes, all the way up to theatrical presentations on HBO, in theaters and/or stadiums. The information library for this cloud effort has been created by no more than 3 or 4 rogue nuclearists, careering against their former job, along with whatever NGO spokesperson-of-the-moment or intern Riverkeeper or Clearwater has tasked with the antinukespeak desk this month.

    Against the background of Fukushima, this cloud enterprise has reached its apogee, and as now tested by Marist, has failed in its mission to convince a majority (or even a plurality) to ban nuclear power on the Hudson. What are the implications of this failed outreach?

    (If not now,… probably never?)

    The citizenry stubbornly defends its economic niche positions against the amorphous imaginary “benefits” of neo-luddism. Those elites with a bit of economic wiggle room are more easily convinced to relinquish something “to make a difference”, but the proletariat is more canny, more liable to get hurt, and not easily swayed by NGO guilt/fear pleas.

    So, as Alex Matthiessen (and others) has/(have) pointed out…. “the movement” is too white, too upper middle class…. and thus reveals itself as much less important than its perpetrators would have us believe.

    Wealthy property owners in Garrison may wish to perfect their real estate dossiers by eliminating a nearby blue collar infrastucture eyesore, but proles up against joblessness, crime, and societal dissolution wisely withold belief, and support the power that lights their streetlights, their hallways, and their streetcorners.

    It is interesting to me, as a longterm observer of “the anti cloud”, to see Marist bury the bad news by coupling the IPEC bit with hydrofracking, rather than allow the facts on Indian Point support to speak for themselves. But then, I’m a bluecollar type,… a chronic non-believer.

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