The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Poll: Drilling Restrictions Based on Politics

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted December 22, 2010

Americans see politics behind the U.S. Department of the Interior decision to prevent any expansion of oil and natural gas drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific and eastern Gulf of Mexico. According to a public opinion poll conducted by Harris Interactive for API, 63 percent of respondents believe the decision is based on politics; only 30 percent believe the ban is based on science.

"People want the nation to develop its own energy resources rather than increase imports, so any decision stopping that strikes them as illogical and probably political," said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. "If we produce more of our own energy, we create desperately needed U.S. jobs, strengthen our energy security, and produce billions of dollars in tax and royalty revenue for our government. People understand that."

The survey was conducted via telephone December 9-12 among 1,015 adults, including 932 registered voters. The sampling error was +/- 3.1 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

This poll is part of API's new public opinion series called What America Is Thinking on Energy Issues. It offers data to inform policy discussions and to ensure policymakers and others know U.S. consumers' and voters' perspectives on key energy topics.