Amid a barrage of election-year talk about domestic energy resources, rising gas prices, and the promise of alternative energy sources — and one year after
the failure of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan — a majority of U.S. voters continue to favor nuclear energy, according to a Gallup poll. The 57 percent, who support using nuclear power this year, is identical to the percentage measured in early March 2011, just before the Fukushima incident, the poll says.
President Barack Obama touted the resurgence of U.S. nuclear energy industry as part of his plan to develop alternative energy sources. “With rising oil prices and a warming climate, nuclear energy will only become more important,” he said Monday at a university in South Korea. “We supported the first new nuclear power plant in three decades. We’re investing in innovative technologies so we can build the next generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants. And we’re training the next generation of scientists and engineers who are going to unlock new technologies to carry us forward.”
After a series of violent setbacks in Afghanistan, support for the war among U.S. voters has dropped sharply, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
Of those polled, 69 percent said that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan, up from 53 percent four months ago. The poll shows that 68 percent thought the fighting was going “somewhat badly” or “very badly,” compared with 42 percent in November. The poll also finds that 44 percent of voters polled want withdrawal sooner than the current 2014 deadline. Public opinion for the was on the decline even before the March 11 incident in which a U.S. soldier is suspected of killing seventeen Afghan civilians.
As three days of U. S. Supreme court oral arguments begin on the Affordable Health Care Act, voters are split on their opinion of the law, according to a Pew Research poll. Of those polled, 47 percent approved and 45 disapproved of the law that, among other things, mandates purchasing some form of health insurance or pay a penalty 2014.
Experts say that controlling health care costs are necessary for long-term U.S. fiscal health and global business competitiveness. But since much of law does not go into effect until 2014, it remains to be seen what effect it will have.
GOP candidate Mitt Romney criticized the law for what he says is part of a pattern of over regulation (WashPo) by the federal government that hurts business and jobs. “This is not just about the business itself being attacked, bad enough as that is, and the employees who work there being attacked, bad enough as that is, but the entire economy, all of America, slows down and the proof is what you’re seeing in the current recovery,” he said. Romney along with other Republican presidential candidates oppose the law.
After the election
in November, “a new government will need to tackle the deficit and start containing the national debt or the United States risks further credit rating downgrades that could erode the dominance of the dollar in global financial markets,” according to Reuters, which looks at possible economic outcomes given four different election scenarios in the fall .
— Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor