Poll: Californians Dislike Nukes, Maybe OK with Oil Drilling

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AFP/Getty Images
    This Japanese protestor may have something in common with Californians, who have shown less and less support for nuclear energy, according to a recent poll.

    The earthquake in Japan and nuclear disasters in general don't have Californians in favor of splitting the atom in their backyards, but offshore oil drilling might be acceptable, according to a recent survey.

    Left-coast Californians are still green-minded, the Public Policy Institute of California's latest poll reveals, with great desires for automakers to improve fuel efficiency, for the federal government to fund solar power and other renewable energy sources, and to keep the state adhering to its landmark green-house gas emission law, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

    To wit, 65 percent of Californians oppose building nuclear plants, with 30 percent in favor, according to the poll. That's a 14 percent drop from nuclear support just a year ago, showing how deeply the Fukushima Daiichi disaster has affected Californians.

    Oddly, while that disaster is on our minds, the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and subsequent bp oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico appears to have been forgotten. The nation's worst oil spill in its history appears to have been supplanted by fears over high gas prices, as 46 percent of Californians now support offshore drilling, said the poll, a 12 percent spike from last year.

    High gas prices has caused financial turmoil for 76 percent of households, according to the poll.

    Other key numbers: President Barack Obama's approval rating is 52 percent, Congress's job approval ratiing is 25 percent, and air pollution is the most important environmental problem facing the state.