After millions were left without electricity and other energy disruptions occurred in the aftermath of recent hurricanes, the Morning Consult for the National Mining Association (NMA) conducted a poll Sept. 7-11 that found 85 percent of American voters think the U.S. should make diversifying its energy grid a priority.
When Hurricane Harvey hit, it disrupted natural gas production and interrupted the operations of pipelines. Many nuclear power plants were forced to close down before Hurricane Irma hit. Additionally, the damaging hurricanes left millions of without power for days and weeks. Diversifying the energy grid would prevent such complications from occurring on such a large scale in the event of natural catastrophes, an NMA release said.
“With millions of Americans in the dark from Texas to Florida, the U.S. government and the American people acknowledge a need to do more to secure America’s energy grid,” Hal Quinn, NMA president and CEO, said in the release. “One way to address potential supply challenges is to utilize a mix of different fuels, including coal, natural gas, nuclear power and renewables. Diversity in the energy market minimizes disruptions when any one fuel source is challenged. At the same time, we need to invest in our infrastructure and support the advanced technologies that make all energy sources as efficient as possible.”
Some effort is already being put toward diversifying the nation's energy grids. According to the NMA, the U.S. Department of Energy has vowed to put $50 million in grants toward research and development of technologies that would strengthen the country's energy infrastructure.