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In Colorado, There's No Love For Clean Coal Or Nuclear Power

An overwhelming 86 percent of Colorado residents want to limit subsidies for oil shale production and halt new coal-fired power plants, according to a newly released poll.

The survey of 600 Colorado adults conducted by Opinion Research Corporation also found support for federal and state investment in wind and solar energy, enhanced energy efficiency, and highly fuel-efficient vehicles. The study was conducted for and the Civil Society Institute, and was released by Western Colorado Congress, a community action alliance focused on protecting and enhancing the quality of life in western Colorado.

Key findings of the poll include:

-A halt to construction of new coal-fired power plants is supported by most Colorado adults. Just over three out of four respondents in Colorado (76 percent) and 73 percent of Americans would support a five-year moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in the United States if there were stepped-up investment in clean, safe renewable energy - such as wind and solar - and improved home energy-efficiency standards.

-Only 9 percent of Colorado residents favor subsidies for unregulated oil shale production. Nearly two out of five state residents (38 percent) favor no subsidies at all for oil shale; roughly half (48 percent) believe that subsidies for oil shale should only exist with "strict environmental controls." Taken together, the latter two data points mean that nearly nine out of 10 Colorado residents favor eliminating or placing strong conditions on oil shale subsidies.

-Nearly nine out of 10 Colorado residents (87 percent) believe that "natural gas companies should have to provide information to nearby communities and residents about hazardous chemicals used and produced in natural gas production." Only about one in 10 (11 percent disagree on the grounds that "disclosure of hazardous chemicals would give information to competitors and harm the gas company." "Colorado residents deserve credit for understanding that more investment by the state and federal governments in coal and nuclear power is essentially the same thing as investing in subprime mortgages," Civil Society Institute President and Founder Pam Solo said in a statement.

"If Colorado taxpayers are going to directly or indirectly underwrite energy development and energy-intensive industries - such as the auto industry - we need to insist that state officials in Denver and the next Congress and president make good, solid investments that make sense for the long-term of our country. The only energy investments that rise above the 'subprime' level today are wind, solar and other clean renewable energy in concert with enhanced energy efficiency."


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