American Public turns against offshore drilling

Ruy Teixeira, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, shows us how the oil spill has been shifting public opinion on offshore drilling, little by little, in this repost.

The gulf oil spill disaster is starting to take a serious toll on public support for offshore drilling. Consider these data from a new Pew Research Center poll. Back in February of this year, 63 percent of the public supported more offshore drilling as a policy response to address our energy needs, compared to 31 percent who were opposed. Today a majority of the public””52 percent””opposes offshore drilling, and support has fallen to 44 percent.

Compare those views on allowing more offshore drilling to the robust support for requiring that new homes and buildings meet higher efficiency standards (78 percent), for increasing federal funding for research on wind, solar, and hydrogen technology (75 percent), and for spending more on subway, rail, and bus systems (64 percent).

The public is sending a clear message here about their priorities for meeting our energy needs. Let’s hope policymakers are listening.

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13 Responses to American Public turns against offshore drilling

  1. Leif says:

    “Let’s hope policymakers are listening.”

    They are listening, just ask them. The only problem is that many have fossil fuel green backs stuffed in their ears and blinding their eyes and the message is a bit garbled. We need to be louder!

  2. catman306 says:

    It’s beginning to sink to the general population’s consciousness that the Gulf has been trashed for many years. No one wanted that. No one wants oily destruction to visit their state or any other state, either. Man-made, greed inspired, Biblically proportioned, catastrophic ecocide cannot be justified for long. Ever again.

    Time for the change we thought we were voting for.

  3. Peter Mizla says:

    lets hope the public soon learns how rising CO2 is frying the planet

    I hope that watershed moment will come soon.

  4. john atcheson says:

    To paraphrase Rahm, “A tragedy is a terrile thing to waste.”

    I think if we’d been more mnindful about using this as a teachable moment we could have even better poll numbers. Instead we fell right into the Repuiblican’s frame of “Is the President tough enough/doing enough etc.”

    And of course, one reason they had to do that is because of the poltical stratagems they are playing — such as advocating off-shore drilling two weeks before the blow-out to appease the drill-baby-drill crowd.

    Poltical cowardice has its costs.

  5. Michael Tucker says:

    The public is fickle and easily swayed by the ‘emergency of the moment’. I would hope this opinion will be sustained but I fear it will immediately change with a rising price at the gas pump.

  6. MarkB says:

    The U.S. Senate on the whole is unfortunately out of touch with the American people (all it takes is 40%). This includes nearly every Republican and a large handful of Democrats.

  7. Prokaryote says:

    Dirty oil corporations do not care about our environment – the future of our planet.

    Shell: deep-water oil drilling will go on

    Royal Dutch Shell’s boss, Peter Voser, insisted that today it was not possible to satisfy the world’s growing energy demands without drilling for oil in deep-water reserves, despite the ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

  8. Michael Tucker says:

    That is true: “…it [is] not possible to satisfy the world’s growing energy demands without drilling for oil in deep-water reserves…”

    Virtually as soon as an exploration well is drilled it is put into production; that is how desperate the world is for oil. If they cannot get the oil from drilling in US waters they will drill elsewhere and the environmental disasters will also happen elsewhere. If you reduce production without reducing demand the price will rise making it profitable to drill in more difficult locations.

    Shell’s current marketing slogan: “LET’S GO” – get that oil!

    All the oil companies are the same.

  9. Prokaryote says:

    You do not need a lot of oil actually, because most oil is just combusted into the air – where it fuels the dangerous and destructive climate change process.

    In order to supply oil demand where it is still required – there are alternatives. Like DARPA algae approaches for jet fuel alternatves.



    The time is now to decrease our dependence on foreign oil
    Sapphire is leading the new industrial category of Green Crude production, profoundly altering the petrochemical landscape for the better

    The process for making algae into fuel at a very base level is this: Sunlight and CO2 are the source of energy and carbon dioxide, rather than sugar or other organic material. By applying the principals used in biotechnology, Sapphire has produced oil in algae that is highly branched and undecorated – the way that traditional crude is – to get a biological crude molecularly similar to light sweet crude. This Green Crude is then processed at a refinery just as traditional crude to make all three major distillates – gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.


    The third type of biochar, which will be the most important is algal biochar. Algaeculture will be used to bioconvert CO2 emissions from combustion processes and cogeneration exhausts into algae. This biotechnology can be adapted for use around power plants; although the power plant exhausts will need to be cleaned or scrubbed of toxic pollutants first. At this developmental stage of this biotechnology, approximately a half square mile of algaeculture photo bioreactors is needed for each 500 megawatts of power plant capacity (subject to change seasonally and with efficiency improvements), and the preferred species of algae being used produce a high quantity of bio-oils. The algal biochar will probably be very pure biochar, comparable to agricultural biochar, and will be produced in abundance.

    The power plant industries will balk at this, and probably scream and whine and attempt to bribe Congress to exclude them because extensive algaeculture operations will need to be installed and because they will need to clean their emissions of biologically toxic pollutants that are now being dumped into the air we breathe and are absorbed by downwind crops, freshwater fish, etc. However, once this change is made, income from power plants will more than double or triple. Algal biochar from power plants will probably be mostly used by the power plant industry as a clean coal alternative.

  10. Kompresör says:

    really interesting story with good statistic

  11. aquastell says:

    I mentioned this a few weeks ago and kind of got brushed off. So I’m going to try again here to raise interest in the idea of getting the people & companies named in this article to increase production and
    implementation on utility grade AC Systems. I know they have the capability. They have already done it for Fed Ex Freight and Wal-Mart. They further state, “The current commercial deployment by PSE&G in New Jersey and our own testing establishes that Petra Solar’s pole-mounted, SunWave™ AC Systems are utility grade and provide a compelling value proposition to electric utilities.”

    Look at what else it says! “BP Solar invests more than $10M annually in photovoltaic research and development.” BP Oil makes how many $BILLIONS??? C’mon. WHY can’t they push hard and fast for a massive reallocation of R&D money to this endeavor? And SO WHAT if it “only” serves 30% of our national energy demand! That’s 30% of a heck of a big demand.

    It just seems to make sense to me to embrace and invite, encourage, coerce…even FORCE… BP Solar’s capabilities as part of the solution. The production and the implementation means MORE JOBS, it would be good for the environment, and golly gee whiz, it might even help solve the pesky PR problem that has been troubling our President and BP.

    I am so discouraged that this obvious solution seems to be deliberately overlooked.

  12. aquastell says:

    Oops – here is the link to the press release I was talking about. They are bragging on their solar capabilities. I think they should put their money where their mouth is on this one.