July 30th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
6 years ago

Poll: Most Americans want offshore drilling

Most Americans are for offshore drilling but are split on whether it will change gas prices.
Most Americans are for offshore drilling but are split on whether it will change gas prices.

(CNN) - Most Americans favor an increase in offshore oil drilling but the public is split over whether or not it would result in lower gas prices in the next year, according to a just-released CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

More than two thirds of Americans say they favor increasing drilling efforts off America's costs while only 30 percent disapprove of such action. Those numbers come the same day President Bush publicly scolded Democratic congressional leaders for not putting his proposal to expand domestic oil drilling, specifically on the outer continental shelf, to a vote.

iReport.com: Is drilling the best option?

The issue has become a divisive one on the campaign trail, with John McCain in favor of lifting a congressional ban on offshore drilling while Barack Obama is opposed to such a proposal.

McCain has said such increases in drilling efforts could ease prices at the pump within a "matter of months." But Obama has said there is little evidence that drilling offshore would have any positive effect on American consumers and is instead pushing energy rebates.

The poll also shows Americans are divided when it comes to the effect of offshore drilling. Just over 50 percent think it will reduce gas prices while 49 percent say it will not.

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soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Typical White Person

    The Chinese are drilling the Gulf of Mexico – why can't we?

    July 30, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. al

    apparently, most Americans are idiots who don't live near or love a beautiful, clean ocean...why don't we drill for oil at the nascar tracks.....

    July 30, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Adrian Veidt

    Drilling for offshore oil is not a quick fix. It will take years to see the effects. It's not a solution, it's just something that LOOKS like a solution to someone who has never studied it.

    July 30, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Off shore drilling is one thing we want....
    We also want to eliminate restrictions/open private investment to creating hydrogen fuel filling stations (not under the control of the oil companies necessarily),

    We also want creation of recharging stations along interstates and within cities and towns for user operable recharging stations for electric vehicles.

    July 30, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. sky

    Only because they dont know the truth. It is the wrong direction to go. It's like finding out your have lung cancer and then thinking if you smoke more cigarettes it will help

    July 30, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Tony

    I don't remember being polled. I am AGAINST it!

    Do you mean most REPUBLICANS want it?????

    July 30, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Sane John

    What confuses me is the 20 percent or so who want offshore drilling but don't believe it will reduce oil prices. What's wrong with them?

    More to the point, what's wrong with the "more then two thirds" of the country that think drilling for more oil will help? It's like giving more heroin to a junkie who really just needs to get clean. T Boone Pickens said it best, "we're not going to drill our way out of this problem".

    July 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. Bulldog

    Republicans voted against two bills last week to help lower gas prices. All because they couldn't add in their offshore drilling admentments. They will block and stall any energy bill unless they can get their offshore drilling. That is there strategy at the expense of the American consumer. Get as much land freed up for the oil companies before the Bush term is over even though the oil companies currently have over 80 million acres of federal land they won't even touch. They wouldn't be leasing this land if there wasn't oil under it. Republicans have no right to be talking smack about the other side. They would rather bow to the big oil and Wall Street coorporations than help out the hard working Americans.

    July 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. Abby

    It’s very unfortunate that this idea has been sold well by the republican machine. I want safe shores and waters for our kids to enjoy, for the fish and wildlife, to keep the ecosystem balanced. We should move away from our dependence on oil not spend more into oil infrastructure! We were given a relatively clean world and we have a responsibility to leave it that way for the next generations not completely abuse it!

    July 30, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Randy

    Well.......counting down to the moment where Obama says....."Well my I am against off shore drilling unless conditions on the ground warrant it"

    Its good that he can use his same standard answer for all those tough, intriguing, and hard hitting questions he gets from the press!

    July 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. eric

    This only proves that many Americans are absolute idiots and explains why Obama isn't further ahead. When you're fighting against ignorance of this magnitude, it's impossible to get ahead. Drilling more won't do a thing for prices. Those will only continue as world demand increases. But drilling will make us too complacent to get us off oil, which is the only thing that will help with costs. If we have the same timeframe and the same resources, why would we continue to waste both on a dying industry? We need to break our addiction, not make it worse. More drilling will only result in a wasted opportunity to do what we've needed to do all along and make the environment and our wallets the victims of our collective stupidity.

    July 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Mike

    Let's just destroy everything. That way we can all die and look back saying, "at least we destroyed everything before we left."

    July 30, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. adam

    Bush labled oil a national addiction, so how is it news that the addicts want to feed the monkey.

    July 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Alice

    That's because, if you don't know any better, it sounds good. "Most Americans" don't live near the shore line. "Most Americans" also elected George W. Bush.

    July 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Here's a idea, why don't the oil companies start drilling for oil on the 68 million acres they already hold the leases for? They know there's oil there, they are just controlling the supply to keep gas prices up. Did you see that BP set another record for profits?

    July 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. James

    Anyone who says they'd be willing spend thousands or even hundreds of dallors to vacation on a beach staring at oil wells is either a liar or delusional. I also do not see anyone being willing to put their children into water that leaves an oil residue on their kids. I like to take beach vacations and would never pay to stare at oil wells on the horizon.

    So states whose economies depend on tourism beware. You might not like the trade off.

    July 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. Phil

    You think this will help? First off, it will take years to create the infrastructure to make offshore drilling a reality. Then, who is going to pay the price? The oil companies or the consumer? Hmmm... let's see.
    Second, how many more oil spills do we need (SF, New Orleans in the past 8 months) that not only tragically affect wildlife but also the economy (fishing, tourism)?
    Offshore drilling is NOT a solution. It makes no sense. America has been successful because of innovation. Now is the time to make way for cleaner non-oil energy. It's the 21st century people. Time to wake up!

    July 30, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. Michael C" Lorton, Virginia

    If Americans believe that drilling today is going to reduce gas prices within the next year.......they are dreamers. There is no shortage of oil, but there is a shortage of refineries. This is one crisis that America cannot drill itself out of....Alternative sources is what is needed.

    July 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Herman in LA

    That's because they are desperate and don't know any better... If we were going to drill why weren't we drill 8 years ago.

    July 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. WeCanSeeRightThruObama

    Because offshore drilling makes sense.

    Besides, what solutions have the Dems/Libs offered to the solving the energy crisis? None. Energy rebates? Red tape is supposed to solve this problem? I don't think so.

    July 30, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. Tony

    I think the only people polled for this were Republicans!

    I love the way CNN lumps us all into one category.

    I suppose MOST AMERICANS also believe the lastest line from McCain. "I will NOT raise taxes."

    Didn't Poppa Bush tell us the same thing and raised them within the first year.

    Get some new material Johnny Boy, this line is as old as you are.

    July 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. Shari, NY

    Would offshore drilling be a short term or long term solution? That is the question.

    July 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. Jamaal kansas

    we need to get off oil period because it is causing global warming if we start drilling we will lose our world to global warming and the affects of global warming is worst storms famine and drought.

    July 30, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. tony

    Arrogance Again !!!
    Forget what the people WANT–
    Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid know whats best–
    That is exactly why the approval of Congree has NEVER been lower

    July 30, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. Biffington, Biff

    With the disaster that the Republic party has become (think Midas touch in reverse),

    and the man and candidate that the Democrats have elected (youthful, vigorous, running an uplifting campaign)...

    for Obama to not be up by 20 is a sad commentary on the corporate media, but MORESO.... the people who are LOOKING for 'some' reason, ANY reason to NOT give this once-in-a-generation leader a shot.

    and because this is America, "I" know what the reason is.. so do you.

    July 30, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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