California · Energy

New poll finds strong support from Coastal voters for keeping Diablo Canyon running

A new poll released this week shows strong local support for keeping the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant open.

Diablo Canyon is California’s last nuclear power plant in operation and is scheduled to close down in 2025.

But Gov. Gavin Newsom has expressed interest in extending the plant’s life to help the state meet his stringent climate goals. 

New polling commissioned by Carbon Free California and conducted by FM3 research shows that 68 percent of voters in the 17th Senate District, which covers San Luis Obispo County, support continued operations of Diablo Canyon.

“We found that Californians broadly support the continued use of Diablo Canyon Power Plant to generate electricity,” said Dave Metz, partner and president at FM3 Research. “That support was strong in the district that includes San Luis Obispo County.”

The new poll falls in line with previous results from January, which showed that 58 percent of California voters wanted to see the power plant remain open.

That polling also showed 74 percent of support in San Luis Obispo County.

Voters in the the coastal senate district poll responded that the benefits of nuclear energy outweigh the risks by a 43-point margin, 62 percent to 19 percent.

The poll also showed that 48 percent of voters are more likely to support a state legislature who support extending Diablo Canyon’s life, while 20 percent said it was less likely. 

Voters also responded that reducing the risk of blackouts was a major concern and a reason to keep Diablo Canyon open.

When asked about potential benefits to keeping the plan running, 77 percent of voters found reducing the risk of blackouts to be extremely or very important, and 75 percent of voters found it important to use nuclear power as the state transitions to wind and solar.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.