Just last week I wrote about not taking everything you read at face
value. This is especially the case when it comes to interpreting
opinion poll findings.
Many surveys are inherently biased – and this is precisely the case
with two recent studies conducted by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC)
for the Civil Society Institute.
The polls, which surveyed residents of North Carolina and Indiana,
assert that support for building new coal-generated power plants is
weak in each state. They also suggest Indianans and North Carolinians
believe a focus on other forms of energy should occur before any new
coal plants are built.
But remember, it’s easy to get the answer you want – just ask the right question.
For example, the ORC study states that 75 percent would pick clean wind
or solar energy if they “could decide where to invest money in new
electric power generation for Indiana.”
Here at ACCCE, we are all for the development of new forms of
energy. This country is going to need all of its energy resources in
the coming years.
But what if the same people were asked this question: “Would you
support a power plant fueled by an unreliable source that may go dark
for days at a time and fail to meet your electrical needs?”
I think it’s safe to say the answer would be a resounding “no!”
But that is a real issue when it comes to wind and solar power. As we reported here,
when the wind recently stopped blowing in Texas, customers lost power.
For the time being, wind and solar just aren’t viable options.
So next time you see the results from an opinion poll, remember to consider the source.