Proximity, nimbyism, and public support for energy infrastructure

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The public opinion literature examining the role of proximity and not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) attitudes in people's judgments about energy projects has come to inconclusive findings. We argue that these mixed results are due to vast differences and significant limitations in research designs, which we mitigate through a large study (n ¼ 16,200) of Americans' attitudes toward energy projects. Our approach examines a diverse set of energy projects in development, explicitly compares the attitudes of individuals living in the vicinity of projects with those farther away, and includes the careful measurement of the NIMBY concept. The analyses show little evidence that proximity in general or NIMBY objections in particular are important determinants of project support. Instead, other factors are more important, including perceptions of local environmental quality, risk orientation, concern about climate change, and trust in energy companies.




Konisky, D. M., Ansolabehere, S., & Carley, S. (2020). Proximity, nimbyism, and public support for energy infrastructure. Public Opinion Quarterly, 84(2), 391–418.

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