For Immediate Release: April 10, 2018
NEW POLL EXAMINES PUBLIC OPINION OF PSEG NUCLEAR BAILOUT BILL, SHOWS ONLY 18% SUPPORT PROPOSAL
THIRD-PARTY SURVEY DEMONSTRATES WIDESPREAD DISAPPROVAL FOR PROPOSED TAX HIKE, VOTERS LESS LIKELY TO SUPPORT LEGISLATORS WHO SUPPORT PSEG SUBSIDY
Trenton, NJ - The NJ Coalition for Fair Energy today released a third-party poll gauging public opinion surrounding a proposed bailout bill for two PSEG nuclear plants (S. 2313 and A. 3724). The results, compiled on April 8 and based on responses from 632 New Jersey residents who vote in Gubernatorial year elections, demonstrate staunch dislike for the bill and its corresponding rate hike. The poll was conducted by Fifty One Percent.
“If there was ever any question about where the public stands on PSEG’s bailout bill, the results are now in,” said Matt Fossen, coalition spokesperson. “The bottom line is New Jerseyans do not want higher taxes, are against subsidizing out-of-state generators, and won’t support legislators who give PSEG the ratepayer-funded check it wants. We’ve known this much from day one, and the latest data tells the same exact story.”
Among the poll’s findings are that 64% of voters do not support subsidizing PSEG’s plants (18% said yes and another 18% said they were unsure) and 46% are less likely to vote for a politician who votes for a subsidy bill (10% said they were more likely to vote for such a politician, while 26% said it’d make no difference and 18% were unsure). In all, 52% of voters think that New Jersey's nuclear plants should close if they are not profitable, or should close whether they are profitable or not.
“Whether it’s the United States broadly or New Jersey specifically, the job of electeds is to represent the will of the people,” continued Fossen. “In this case, the people are clear: they don’t want to pay steeper electric bills, and they certainly don’t believe their money should be going to plants across state lines. Lawmakers are wise to heed this, especially since voters have made clear they won’t be fond of officials who vote for this bill come next elections.”
Under the legislation in question, New Jersey ratepayers would pay an extra $300 million annually on their energy bills - in part to subsidize out-of-state plants. Today’s survey showed that 66% of voters are less likely to vote for a politician who supports this kind of proposal (7% said they would be more likely to vote for a politician who supported out-of-state subsidies, while 14% said it’d make no difference and 13% were unsure).
“In the end, legislators need only take stock of the dividing line in this debate,” concluded Fossen. “Among those opposed to a bailout are environmental groups, power producers, consumer advocacy groups, the general voting public and more. Those supporting the idea? Just PSEG. This should be telling, and symptomatic of just how bad PSEG’s demand is.”