Majority of Voters Want More Oil and Gas Drilling: Poll

Majority of Voters Want More Oil and Gas Drilling: Poll Oil pumps Oil pumps (Getty Images)

By Peter Malbin | Monday, 09 May 2022 02:53 PM

A majority of likely voters (60%) favor a law that would drastically increase oil and gas drilling in the United States, including 47% who would "strongly favor" such a law. About a third (30%) would oppose a law to increase drilling, while 11% are not sure.

These are some of the results of a new national telephone and online survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports and the Heartland Institute that finds that 82% of likely U.S. voters are concerned about rising energy and gasoline prices, including 60% who are "very concerned." Only 14% aren’t concerned about the rising price of energy.

In the survey, 52% of voters believe Congress and President Joe Biden should focus more on increasing oil and gas drilling to help reduce energy prices, but 34% think the policy focus should be more on limiting carbon dioxide emissions in an attempt to reduce climate change.

Majorities of every political and racial category — 89% of Republicans, 77% of Democrats, 81% of unaffiliated voters, 84% of whites, 73% of Black voters, 79% of Hispanics, and 84% of other minorities — are at least somewhat concerned about rising energy and gasoline prices, according to the poll.

Rasmussen finds that majorities of every racial group — 62% of whites, 54% of Black voters, 57% of Hispanics, and 60% of other minorities — favor a law that would dramatically increase oil and gas drilling in the United States. A majority (76%) of Republicans and 57% of unaffiliated voters also favor such a law, but only 46% of Democrats would favor a law dramatically increasing U.S. drilling.

There is a slight gender gap. More men (56%) than women voters (48%) think Congress and President Biden should focus more on increasing oil and gas drilling to help reduce energy prices.

While 74% of Republicans and 54% of unaffiliated voters believe increased oil and gas drilling should be the policy focus, 54% of Democrat voters want the president and Congress to focus more on reducing climate change instead.

The survey finds that 50% of voters believe it’s likely that climate change will be catastrophic within the next 100 years, including 30% who think it is "very likely" climate change will have a catastrophic impact within a century. Under half (42%) don’t believe climate change is likely to be catastrophic within 100 years, including 24% who say such a catastrophe is "not at all likely."

Voters under 40 are more prone than older voters to believe climate change is likely to have a catastrophic impact within 100 years, while older voters favor increased U.S. oil and gas drilling.

Unmarried and childless voters are most likely to believe climate change will have a catastrophic impact within 100 years.

“When push comes to shove, polls consistently show energy and economic security trump climate change for a majority of the public when asked which is more important,” said H. Sterling Burnett, director of Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy at the Heartland Institute. “Oil and gas remain, for the foreseeable future, vital to maintaining our present standard of living and lifestyles and to ensure continued economic and national security. This Heartland/Rasmussen poll indicates the public understands that fundamental fact.”

The survey of 1,004 U.S. likely voters was conducted on April 28 and May 2, 2022 by Rasmussen Reports and the Heartland Institute. 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.

Original Article