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.

More from CNNMoney.com

soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Darryl M Arliington TX

    Just ask John McCain, about his $ 5 million dollars donation that he recieve from the big oil companies.

    Just ask John McCain about he money he receive from AT&T the to pave the way for the Ma Bells to get back togather....

    John McCain is just like George Bush and Dick Chaney however the media will not tell you the truth....

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. Yuck

    Anyone convinced that offshore drilling is a good idea – stroll along the sunny beaches in Texas – but don't forget the industrial strength cleaner to get the muck off your body. Those in favor probably don't live near the shores and don't see the full consequence. Drilling offshore won't solve our problems – it won't even be a start to a solution. Anyone that says otherwise is flat out lying.

    July 30, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Tom

    The way i see it, the price of oil per barrel has been set by the speculators more than it has demand. Just the decision of drilling in these new areas should drive down prices some. Also, it will take quite a number of years to develop ways to completely rid ourselves of the dependence of oil. I say it would be foolish not to drill and use the oil we have while amping up research into alternative energy sources......or we could always let the Chinese take all of OUR oil.....

    July 30, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. McArsenic

    68 million acres all ready leased to oil companies, that they are NOT utilizing! Mccain wants to put the oil drilled (in those 68 mill. acres and off shore) on the open market, selling it to China and India, so it will not affect our gas prices...only up the profits of the lobbyist working on his campaign. THERE WAS AN OIL SPILL JUST LAST WEEK. America we can not put a band aid on a severed arm...i am not tree hugger but i do believe that off shore drilling is wrong especially after the oil spill that we saw last week. John McCain was against it too until he stated getting so many "donations" from Big Oil

    July 30, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. INDEPENDENT NOW

    IT WILL TAKE 10 YEARS BEFORE WE SEE ANY EFFECTS OF OFF SHORE DRILLING. I LIVE IN FLORIDA, WE DEPEND ON OUR BEAUTIFUL BEACHFRONT FOR REVENUE. WE CANT AFFORD A SPILL? WE JUST WENT THRU THREE VERY POWERFUL HURRICANES AND ARE STILL PUTTING THIS STATE BACK TOGETHER. ITS NOT THE SOLUTION, IN FLORIDA EVERY NEW HOME SHOULD BE BUILT SOLAR. BUT THEY ARE NOT. THIS GOVERNMENT BETTER GET OUT OF BED WITH BIG OIL, AND START USING THE ALTERNATIVE RESORCES WE ALREADY HAVE THE TECH FOR. VOTE THE BUMS OUT. DO NOTHING CONGRESS AND SENATE NEED TO BE VOTED OUT. TOO MANY FAVORS OWED THERE. AND OBAMA IS GOING TO OWE EVERYONE. VOTE FOR HILARY, SHES NOT INDEBTED TO ANYONE AT THIS POINT AND WILL DO WHAT IS NESS TO GET THINGS DONE.

    July 30, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. Excited Dem

    Maybe those folks who are in favor of offshore drilling should talk with the folks down in Louisiana.

    Can't imagine the disasters awaiting communities close to our shores as Bush, Cheney, & McCain deregulate offshore drilling so their buddies can GET Ultra RICH QUICK before alternative fuels take hold.

    Anybody who believes THEY (the Republicans) are pushing offshore drilling to help the average American is out of their mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA 08

    July 30, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. Tim

    I suppose 2/3 of Americans also think that the best way to stop a crack cocaine addiction is to first use up all of the cocaine in your house. Throwing more money at oil is stupid. We need to devote all of our money (both public and private) to new sources of energy. If we were really serious about it, we could be successful in the time it would take to get the oil that is out there to the pump.

    And from a purely practical standpoint, it makes more sense to do this, as we could then be an energy exporter, leasing the technology that WE control.

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. Proud American

    Democrats symbol of hope. Republicans symbol of despair.
    Obama '08

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Nikole

    Why aren't oil companies already drilling in areas they currently have access to? And what evidence does McCain have that we will see the benefits of offshore drilling in a matter of months.

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Rebecca

    I don't get it. There will be no benefit for Americans other than more profit for oil companies. And then what happens when those leases stop producing?

    We need a real solution to energy problems in our country. Our nation could fund reasearch on alternative energy instead of offering tax breaks to people that buy gas guzzling trucks (and do not need them, come on, you don't need an F350 to go to work for the county). We could have stopped mergers of oil companies that now openly conspire to toy with supply and demand in order to increase profits instead of choosing to "deregulate" the industry. But then that would take leadership, something which our country has lacked in this issue for a very long time and has been particualarly bad for the last 7 odd years.

    Drilling is allowed off of the Texas coast and tarballs wash up on the beach. You can buy a special product that will get the tar off when you step in one, which you'll need because it won't wash off and it won't come out of your floorboard either.

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. larry buchas

    Americans should learn how to conserve. Try driving a car that gets over 30 miles/gallon for starters. You're all way overdue.

    It is simply foolish and selfish to drive those huge gas guzzlers.

    Or do you want to flood the coastlines with another oil spill? Remember Santa Barbara?

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Mike, TX

    America can thank Harry Reid, Pelosi, Obama, Kennedy, Rangle, Schumer, Clinton, and the rest of the democrats every time they fill their gas tank.

    These people are hostage to special interest groups that prefer to REDUCE Americans standard of living than drill in areas where other countries (China, Cuba, etc.) are currently drilling.

    This is the height of idiocy!

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Anna, SW Missouri

    Why is it that no one ever asks this simple question about off shore drilling. What state that does not already have off shore drilling is in favor of off shore drilling off their own shore line? Why is it never reported that the people in coastal states are not as "IN favor" of off shore drilling as the people that live in states that do not have shores? Are the people in Washington using this a a wedge issue when they know that every state with a shore line, if given the opportunity to have off shore drilling, will say yes we want it, just not "in our backyard!"

    July 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. vic nashville,Tn

    I think democratic party and their candidate out of touch with Americans
    Bill Clinton is the only One from democratic party know the feelings of Americans
    Hillary please comes back
    Hillary 08 or Mc Cain 08

    July 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. dennisk

    Poll: Most Americans want offshore drilling.
    Newsflash: Most Americans are idiots.

    July 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Glad to be an Independent

    If seems that oil companies have the ability to drill offshore for oil now. There are large areas available now. Before any other lands are opened up to oil companies, we should allow the oil companies to drill in the areas available to them now. We should FIRST see if they will drill for oil in an environmentally responsible way. Once you ruin the environment then if it will nearly impossible to clean up the mess. My message to oil companies is prove you can be responsible citizens first. If you can prove that, then more areas could become available to them in the future. Also, any environmental clean-up that needs to be done should be totally the responsibility of the oil companies. NO taxpayer money should be used to clean-up any oil spill or any other environmental disaster caused by offshore drilling.

    July 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. John, Brooklyn, New York

    One last scam by the Big Oil-funded Republicans. Off shore drilling will neither reduce our dependence on foreign oil NOR will it bring down gasoline prices any time before 2017. This is simply a cynical means convincing the American people to act against their own interest with claims that helping Big Oil will help the little guy.

    Fortunately, its their last gasp....Big Oil won't hhave control of Washington after Bush/Cheney are gone.

    July 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. TOM

    most americans dont know what they want. the tv gennereation can only think about 15 min into the future. and forgets the past as soon as it history.

    July 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. M.S. Indiana

    Most people are cheeps, and dont even know what the heck is going on..
    All they hear is lower prices, lover prices, tax holiday tax holiday.. Not understanding what the price will be later...
    Like why we now have 1-4 bridges that should not even be used for traffic.. and we need 140 Billions to repair them so we can drive on them or replace them..

    July 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. CL OT

    I suggest that all democrats stop using oil. That will cut our comsumption in half and we wont need to drill.

    July 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    No matter what we eventually end up with for alternative energy, widespread use is decades away. Meanwhile oil will continue to be a major energy source. We need to drill wherever we think there is hope of finding oil, in parallel with developing new energy sources. There is no 'one size fits all' answer. I am perplexed by Obama’s failure to see this, as well as his opposition to nuclear. France gets 80% of it’s electricity from nuclear, while the US gets less than 20%. New reactor designs are safe, and with reprocessing, the supply of uranium will last centuries. We can’t afford to rule anything out. We need oil, nuclear, coal, wind, solar, biofules, ocean thermal, tidal, etc. Anything that can generate a kilowatt of power needs to be brought online.

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. Bud

    America cannot continue to import and expect sympathy from any government. We have oil. We need oil. How arogant to have not already drilled and at least held in reserve what we have. The oil shale in western states has been known as a resource since before World War ONE. We want. We need. Let's do in with the expertise that Americans can muster better than anyone.

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    I do not have a problem with off shore drilling per se. My problem with the GOP argument is that the oil companies currently have millions of acres currently licensed for drilling but they are not tapping these areas. Instead they are seeking additional areas. If they believe the ol is more plentiful elsewhere, then release their current rights in exchnge for new ones. Otherwise, go where they have already been approved.

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Scott L

    Gas has skyrocketed the past 2 years. Pelosi made a promise when Dems took over house and senate that gas would fall. She is a liar, plain and simple.

    Dems own things and look where gas is. You lose dems...

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. v.a.

    and those who want offshore drilling are those dense enough to believe it's going to have an effect some time soon.

    tap into the 200 BILLION barrels of reserve we have while we transition to alternative forms of energy. it's not rocket science.

    July 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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