BLOG: EY Survey: Most Consumers Don't Want Reduced Oil, Gas Regulation
Friday Oct 06, 2017  

Federal regulation has been the bane of existence for many oil and gas executives, who often consider overregulation as an impediment to industry advancements. Two 2017 surveys from EY (one targeting American adult consumers and one targeting oil and gas executives based in North America) explore the topic of regulation. The surveys reveal clear disparities between the two cohorts in how much regulation is too much as well as what industry regulations are most important.

How Much Regulation?

Is the industry underregulated? Overregulated? Depends on who you ask.

Nearly 80 percent of consumers of all ages and political beliefs are not in favor of reduced regulation in oil and gas, the EY report finds. But 53 percent of oil and gas executives believe the industry has too much regulation while 41 percent of adults believe the industry is underregulated.

But even though disparities are present in whether the industry is regulated enough, both groups agree some regulations are necessary. There’s far less disagreement there.

To note, 85 percent of consumers believe regulations are necessary to prevent or minimize the impact of oil and gas accidents and spills. Seventy-nine percent of oil and gas executives feel the same way. Further, 85 percent of consumers and 84 percent of executives agree regulations are necessary to ensure environmentally safe drilling practices.

What Are the Regulations Worth?

As far as prioritizing goes, not surprisingly, consumers and oil and gas executives differ on areas of what’s important.

Among adult consumers, the following should be the top regulatory priorities for the industry: avoiding spills and accidents (44%), protecting water quality (39%) and encouraging clean energy development (37%).

Oil and gas executives believe the following to be the top regulatory priorities for the industry: avoiding spills and accidents (56%), ensuring worker safety (52%) and being energy independent (35%).

Here’s the kicker.

Many Americans are willing to pay at the pump in order to achieve their regulatory objectives. In fact, they’re willing to pay 30 to 50 cents more per gallon to:

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