Just how far has the reputation of big oil fallen? An MIT study released late last month reveals some interesting new wrinkles. The first is that public acceptance of nukes is rising. The share of Americans who want to increase nuclear power use has grown to 35%, up from 28% five years ago. That may not be the sort of popular groundswell industry advocates are gunning for, but it does show that its media & advertising push to boost the industry’s standing is working. By presenting atomic energy as the only carbon-lite, very large source of electricity able to go day and nite, the industry is hoping to polish a reputation tarnished by worries over Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the recent earthquake in Japan. Perhaps more surprising is that the survey shows that big oil is now less favored than nuclear energy. When asked what energy type they wanted to increase their use of, the 1,200 respondents ranked oil ahead of only coal, the lowest scoring energy type. Renewables scored the highest overall: More than 75% wanted to boost use of solar and wind. Check out the full report here.
BusinessWeek correspondents John Carey and Mark Scott, cover the green scene, keeping on top of the business aspects of energy, the environment and climate change, as well as the technologies, policies, markets and people that are shaping how the earth's resources will be used in the century ahead.