It's official: By a slim margin, Vermonters believe that Vermont Yankee should be relicensed in 2012. That's the key finding from this year's annual Doyle Survey, an unscientific snapshot of opinions collected on Town Meeting Day.
State Sen. Bill Doyle (R-Washington) — for whom the survey is named — collected roughly 15,000 surveys from 142 towns and cities.
"The results on the Vermont Yankee question this year was probably the closest of of any question," Doyle told Seven Days. It is also a sharp turnaround from preliminary results issued earlier this month. At that time, about 47 percent of respondents said they wanted VY closed in 2012, 40 percent wanted it relicensed and 12 percent weren't sure.
Now, with the results finalized VY supporters top opponents. Of those who filled out the survey, 45 percent wanted VY relicensed, 41 percent do not and 14 percent are unsure.
Last year, only 31 percent of respondents wanted VY relicensed. Perhaps the news coverage of those tritium leaks had something to do with public sentiment?
Illustration credit: Tim Newcomb
Doyle has conducted this unscientific survey of residents across Vermont for more than 40 years.
As was evident in the early returns, the survey found big support for expanding the bottle bill, keeping the state's motorcycle helmet law intact and banning the use of cellphones will driving. Those who filled out the survey also said there should be tougher penalties for repeat DUI offenders.
Respondents also said they'd be willing to pay more for local food and renewable energy.
Of those who filled out surveys, 43 percent "have confidence" in Gov. Peter Shumlin while 30 percent do not and 27 percent aren't sure.
Here are the full results:
1. Should Vermont Yankee's license be renewed in 2012?
2. Should drivers be prohibited from using cellphones while driving?
3. Should Vermont legalize physician-assisted suicide?
4. Should Vermont have a four-year term for governor?
5. Should there be a mandatory minimum sentence for repeat DUI offenders?
6. Should Vermonters be required to buy health insurance?
7. Do you have confidence in Governor Shumlin?
8. Should Vermont continue to require the use of motorcycle helmets?
9. Should law enforcement personnel be permitted to use Tasers?
10. Should Vermont's legislature encourage bicycling and walking?
11. Should Vermont's bottle deposit law be expanded to include all bottled beverages?
12. Are you willing to pay more for locally grown food?
13. In order to encourage wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, are you willing to pay higher prices?