Florida voters still see nuclear power as safe source of energy

Gas prices are spiking at home and political turmoil and serious humanitarian and geopolitical challenges persist abroad in nations like Japan and Libya. Commentators and pollsters have observed that the tragic events around Japan’s nuclear power facilities may weaken support for nuclear energy in America, due to questions over its safety. Combine that with the rise in gas prices, and we could be seeing a revival of concern for Florida and America’s energy future.

With this in mind, Viewpoint Florida went into the field this week to see where Floridians stand on the role of oil, nuclear power and other alternative energy sources in Florida’s economy, both in the present day and into the future.

Despite grim reports from Japan, 71% of the likely voters we surveyed said that nuclear power is at least a ‘pretty safe’ source of alternative energy in Florida, including 33% who called nuclear power ‘very safe’. 25% of respondents said that nuclear power was either ‘not very safe’ or ‘not safe at all’.

60% of respondents stated that they would support legislation allowing oil drilling up to 3 miles off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. 40% of respondents said they would strongly support such legislation.

With regards to specific energy policies, 48% of respondents said they would prefer that Florida lawmakers focus most of their efforts on providing funds for wind, solar and other ‘green’ energy. 27% preferred that lawmakers focus on permitting offshore oil drilling, and 18% wanted legislators to focus on promoting more nuclear energy in Florida.

However, 50% of respondents said they would not pay any more money to their home energy bill in order to receive at least a third of their energy from renewable resources. Only 7% said they would be willing to pay more than an extra 10% on their energy bills for more renewable energy for their home.

The study was conducted among 807 registered voters likely to vote in the 2012 General Election. The margin of error is 3.5%.

Full Results

For details see Methodology

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