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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