Most voters continue to feel America needs to do more to develop domestic gas and oil resources. They also still give the edge to finding new sources of oil over reducing gas and oil consumption.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that just 19% believe the United States does enough to develop its own gas and oil resources. Seventy-five percent (75%) do not think the country is doing enough in this area. These findings are virtually unchanged from late February.
Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters say, when given the choice, that increasing the supply of oil by finding new sources is a better energy policy than reducing demand by cutting gas and oil consumption. Forty-two percent (42%) believe reducing the demand for oil is the better energy policy.
The gap between the two was a bit wider in June 2008, when 39% said reducing demand was more important and 47% preferred increasing the supply. But a majority of voters for years have said finding new sources of energy is more important than reducing the amount of energy Americans consume. At the same time, most voters believe investment in renewable energy sources like solar wind is the best long-term solution the nation’s energy issue.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters U.S. Voters was conducted on June 26-27, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
Republicans and voters not affiliated with either party believe more strongly than Democrats that America is not doing enough to develop its own gas and oil resources. But sizable majorities across all demographic categories share this belief.
Most Democrats (59%) favor reducing demand for oil over increasing the supply through development of new sources. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republicans think increasing the supply is the better policy to follow. Unaffiliated voters are evenly divided on this question. Fifty-three percent (53%) of Political Class voters say reducing the demand for oil is the better energy policy, while 52% of Mainstream prefer the opposite approach.
This past April, one year after the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, most voters (59%) were again supportive of deepwater drilling. Two-out-of-three voters (67%) support offshore drilling. Fifty-five percent (55%) oppose President Obama's seven-year ban on offshore oil and gas drilling in part of the Gulf of Mexico and along the East Coast.
One-in-two Americans are ready to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to lessen the country’s dependence on foreign oil. However, only 38% think the United States is even somewhat likely to reduce its dependence on foreign oil by the year 2025, a goal set by the president in an energy plan earlier this year.
Americans are no more enthusiastic than they were a year ago about buying a car that runs on alternative fuel.
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