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Americans Continue to Support Offshore Drilling

By Steve Everley, Research Assistant at the American Enterprise Institute.

Even with relatively low oil prices, the American people still strongly support offshore oil and gas drilling.

A new Harris Interactive poll,
conducted February 13 – February 16, 2009, echoes the support Americans
voiced before and after November’s elections: America favors offshore
drilling for domestic oil and natural gas resources.

The poll found that 61% of Americans support drilling for oil and natural gas resources
in the Outer Continental Shelf and the Gulf of Mexico. Only 26% of
those polled opposed exploration and development of those resources.

Additionally, 57% would oppose regulations or laws that either delay or block domestic oil and natural gas production. Only 28% would support these regulations.

Specifically regarding Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision to delay the offshore drilling leasing process, 50% said they would “oppose delaying the offshore oil and gas drilling plan,” while only one-third of the respondents support Salazar’s decision.

Of those polled, 23% were Republicans, 37% were Democrats, and 33% were Independents, indicating that support for offshore drilling remains a tripartisan issue.

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