Americans Continue to Support Offshore Drilling

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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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