Public Attitudes Toward Construction of New Power Plants

Stephen Ansolabehere and David M. Konisky, 2009, "Public Attitudes toward Construction of New Power Plants," Public Opinion Quarterly 73(3): 566-577.

19 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2015 Last revised: 30 Dec 2015

See all articles by Stephen Ansolabehere

Stephen Ansolabehere

Harvard University - Department of Government

David Konisky

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Date Written: January 21, 2009

Abstract

Increased demand for U.S. electricity generation will require the construction of hundreds of new power plants in the coming decades. We examine attitudinal data from the 2008 MIT Energy Survey to measure public support for and opposition to the local siting of power plants. Substantial majorities of Americans oppose the location of coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants in their area, although a majority supports local siting of wind facilities. We find that attitudes about plant siting depend heavily on perceptions of the environmental harm and costs of specific facilities; the effects of these attributes are similar across different types of fuel sources, suggesting that there is a common underlying structure to an individual’s attitude. That is, people view all power sources in the same framework and differentiate them on perceived endowments, the most important of which is environmental harm.

Keywords: public opinion, power plants, nimby, environmental attitudes, energy

Suggested Citation

Ansolabehere, Stephen and Konisky, David, Public Attitudes Toward Construction of New Power Plants (January 21, 2009). Stephen Ansolabehere and David M. Konisky, 2009, "Public Attitudes toward Construction of New Power Plants," Public Opinion Quarterly 73(3): 566-577., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2708117

Stephen Ansolabehere

Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David Konisky (Contact Author)

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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