The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

American Voters on Energy

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 17, 2014

New national polling finds strong support among U.S. registered voters for more domestic oil and natural gas production and more investment in energy infrastructure – with significant majorities connecting increased energy infrastructure (such as new pipelines, storage facilities and other energy-related projects) with job creation, strengthening U.S. energy security and helping American consumers.

The survey of 1,003 registered voters by Harris Poll shows that Americans recognize the importance of energy and energy infrastructure to their daily lives. Key poll details:

  • 87 percent agree that increased production of domestic oil and natural gas could help stimulate the economy
  • 92 percent say increasing development of the country’s energy infrastructure would help strengthen U.S. energy security
  • 94 percent agree that increased infrastructure development would help create jobs in the U.S.
  • 91 percent say increased domestic production of oil and natural gas could lead to more U.S. jobs
  • 89 percent say increased infrastructure development is good for American consumers
  • 77 percent support more domestic oil and natural gas production
  • 83 percent support increased development of the nation’s energy infrastructure

The poll shows strong support on these issues across the political spectrum, age groups and from men and women. For example, here’s the survey’s breakdown by political affiliation and age on the connection between increased energy infrastructure and U.S. energy security:

infrastructure support 1

Here’s polling detail by gender on the link between increased oil and natural gas production and economic growth:

infrastructure support 2

Karen Moreau, executive director of the New York State Petroleum Council, discussed the poll’s findings during a conference call:

“It is clear that the American public is looking to capitalize on the opportunity we face at this moment to use our nation’s energy portfolio to help consumers and create jobs.”

Moreau pointed to an IHS study showing up to $1.15 trillion in oil and natural gas infrastructure investments over the next 12 years – adding up to $120.5 billion to the economy and supporting as many as 1.15 million jobs:

“These are private dollars – not public funds – ready to put shovels in the ground. Think about what those economic resources could do for schools across the country, as well as for hospitals and infrastructure for future generations. But this brighter future will only come to pass if we get national and local energy policies right today.”

More Moreau:

The right public policies can fuel America’s economic revival and improve our energy security for future generations through the safe and responsible production, refining and transportation of our country’s oil and natural gas resources. Our entire economic future, the availability of affordable and reliable energy, depends on the policies created today.”

API announced the launch of a new “Faces of Energy” campaign to help policymakers hear Americans  around the country – reflected in the Harris Poll – who support increased energy and energy infrastructure development. The campaign will include digital outreach, grassroots advocacy and online advertising. Moreau said the campaign will call for policies that support increased access to America’s abundant energy reserves, as well as those that foster energy investment. This occurs as the United States considers the possibility – contained in a new U.S. Energy Information Administration forecast – that it could set net imports of oil and liquid fuels approach zero between 2035 and 2040. Moreau:

“The American public gets it, and the data back them up. … The United States has crossed the threshold amongst the global elites in oil and natural gas production and is now an energy superpower. We have very substantial reserves – the most since the 1970s. As a nation we need to look forward to our bright energy future, and that means making the right energy choices at the national and local levels. Forward-looking policies that allow America to capitalize on this bright future are imperative for this nation to realize its job creation and economic potential, meeting the priorities of today’s voters.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.