Poll: Americans Don’t Think More Drilling Will Lower Gas Prices
The American public is not buying the arguments of President Bush and the oil industry that new drilling will lower gas prices, a new poll finds.1 Conducted over the last week by Belden Russonello and Stewart, the poll finds that despite the recent push to convince lawmakers to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf to drilling, and to allow new oil shale projects in the Rocky Mountain West, a majority (54%) of Americans do not see more drilling as a solution to high gas prices.
In fact, the poll finds, the public overwhelmingly believes (76% to 19%) that policymakers should focus on investing in new energy technologies including renewable fuels and more efficient vehicles rather than expanding exploration and drilling for more oil.
When asked the question: “Looking to the future, which one of the following do you think should be a more important priority for government: Investing in new energy technology including renewable fuels and more efficient automobiles, or expanding exploration and drilling for more oil?”, more than three-quarters of respondents favored new technology and renewables.
Additionally, a majority of Americans (63%) said that the President’s proposal to open up public lands to oil and gas drilling is “more likely to enrich oil companies than to lower gas prices for American consumers.”
Of course, you should take this data with a grain of salt and be careful about the conclusions you draw from it. As indicated by the footnote, the margin of error in the poll is 3.5%, which indicates that the margin between the percentage of Americans that don’t think more drilling will reduce gas prices (54%), and the percentage of who Americans that do think more drilling will bring lower gas prices (46%) is virtually nil.
But the results do indicate that there is a significant portion of Americans who are not buying the rhetorical claims made by John McCain, George W. Bush, and other members of the “we must drill more now” club.
Other posts about oil prices and offshore drilling:
- “McCain Credits Bush for Drop in Oil Prices, White House Replies: ‘It Wasn’t us.’
- “Bush Proposes ‘Fire Sale’ of Rocky Mtns. For Oil Shale Development”
- “New McCain TV Ad Blames Obama for High Gas Prices”
- “Americans Want to Drill”
- “Bush Lifts Exec. Ban on Offshore Drilling – Why it Matters and Why it Doesn’t”
- “McCain Calls for More Offshore Drilling – What Else Would he Say in Houston?”
1. The poll was a nationally representative telephone survey of 821 adults between July 16 and 20, 2008. The margin of sampling error is ± 3.5 percentage points at a 95% confidence level
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