Poll touts hydropower benefits

A poll of 2,177 people found that 78 percent of Americans believe the benefits of hydropower outweigh any of the risks.

According to the July 30 poll by Harris Interactive, at least two-thirds of Americans believe the benefits of hydropower, wind power and natural gas outweigh the risks.

The same poll showed that 42 percent of Americans believe the risks of using coal outweigh the benefits, while 36 percent believe the benefits outweigh the risks and 22 weren’t sure. Forty-four percent of Americans said the benefits of using nuclear power outweigh the risks while 34 percent said the risks outweigh the benefits.

However, very few people (9 percent) considered themselves to be very knowledgeable about the various sources of electricity. What’s more, only 21 percent said they were very interested in staying informed about new developments in sources of electrical power, while 53 percent said they were fairly interested in keeping up to date.

Meanwhile, Congress is debating a comprehensive energy bill that will attempt to balance the need to meet rising demand and a desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the increased use of renewable resources.

“Much work is needed by Congress, energy companies and communities to engage consumers in the dialogue around this new energy economy,” the report stated.

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