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. Nikole

    @Wecanseerightthruobama–Unfounded talking points? Do you have any evidence to suggest that all of the point made here are unfounded. Do you have some secret info to suggest that the oil drilled won't be used across the world? Or that oil companies actually are drilling on land they already have access to? I don't think so. Those are facts, not talking points.

    July 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. No McCain!

    There are other ways to help the economy, but there's only one environment. If you guys want to screw it up, kiss it goodbye.

    July 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Mike from Westchester

    This may be necessary as part of a COMPREHENSIVE energy plan, that in the long term moves us as close to being completely off oil as possible in the next 20 years and coal and nuclear in the next 50 years. Conservation, efficiency, technology, and renewable sources are the keys to our energy future.

    Question #1: If offshore drilling rigs are perfectly safe from storms as people were saying two weeks ago, why were energy traders holding their breath when Hurricane Dolly swept through the gulf last week?

    Question #2: How much should we charge oil companies for the oil they extract from public lands? How about $25 less than the spot price of oil? Otherwise we are providing windfall profits to oil companies at the expense of the American taxpayer, sometimes referred to as corporate welfare. Increased supply will still bring prices down and the charge would go down accordingly.

    July 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Brandon Hillary PUMA 4Mc

    Oh but king obama has said that he is not in favor of offshore oil drilling. He knows best whats good for the country because he has a lifetime of service and reaching out for bipartisan solutions-NOT

    " NOT THIS TIME" –NOT FAlling in LINE.
    Country over Party
    MC Cain 2008
    Hillary 2012

    July 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Selah Brown

    NOT THIS AMERCIAN!

    July 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Biopolitician

    Use up all the forieghn oil we can...then see how well OPEC does selling sand! More drilling is like slapping a band-aid on a broken dam!

    July 30, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    I AM NOT SURPRISED BY THIS POLL. MOST AMERICANS DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT WE CAN DRILL EVERYWHERE BUT IT WILL TAKE YEARS BEFORE THE OIL REACHES US!

    I am disappointed that the media and CNN have not done a special report on drilling so that you can educate people!

    McCain knows, as I do, that it will take years to affect the price of oil!

    ALSO, LOOK HOW THE PRICE HAS DROPPED WITHOUT DRILLING IN OUR FRAGILE OCEANS.......... SIMPLY BE WE, THE PEOPLE, CONSERVING!

    IF THERE IS SO MUCH OIL ON OUR COASTS, DON'T YOU THINK THAT THE OIL COMPANIES WITH ALL THEIR POWER WOULD HAVE BEEN CLAMORING FOR DRILLING ON OUR COASTS LONG AGO????????????????????????????????????????????????

    SEEMS SUSPICIOUS TO ME. THIS IS BIG TIME PANDERING BY THE GOP & MCCAIN.......... BUT NO ONE 'SEES' .......SCARY!

    July 30, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. mollygonz

    Just open up another vein...we are addicts! I love how the American people think..not in the long term of course. What should have been dealt with twenty years ago or more, America's problem with addiction to fossil fuels and people want more offshore drilling. Unbelievable and like others, I am not well off and have to pay for gas like everybody else but I am willing to make a change instead of just going back for more. It's pathetic!

    July 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Henry n New York

    CORRECTION

    McCain received over $900,000 from oil company this year alone. Politico.com re: lobbyist money

    July 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. educated american

    Its stupid to believe that drilling off the coast would bring down prices. If congress and Bush allowed the oil companies to drill the speculators will still speculate. Speculator know that they have at least 7yrs left before 1 drop of oil gets pumped out. The REPUBLICANS want us to believe its the democrates fault. They seem to forget that they controled the HOUSE, SENATE, AND WHITE HOUSE for 6 yrs. They also seem to forget that the oil companies don't even have to sell the oil in America. They can pump as much as they want and send it to China like they already do. The American public won't see a drop of any new oil production. If you want something to happen choose a democrate.

    July 30, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Puck

    Where are these polls conducted, and who makes up
    the control group, and what number of Americans are
    being polled?

    Polls are stupid. I can ask 3 people if they're for offshore
    drilling, and if 2 of them say yes, than does that mean I
    can say that "twp-thirds of Americans are for offshore
    drilling?"

    July 30, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. D. Moore

    Drill more, drill more, got to DRILL MORE!!! Nevermind the FACT that there are over 67 THOUSAND ACRES that the oil companies have leased from the American Government to drill on that HAVEN'T BEEN TOUCHED. (I bet that 90% of those who want us to drill are the same people who have no clue in just how many vacant grids there are in the Gulf that is NOT BEING USED). Let's just drill all around the U.S. in fact, lets start to drill in every state in the Union, this way we are sure to get every last precious drop out of the ground. Who cares about what damage this will cause, just as long as we can fill up our gas guzzlers, that IS the most important thing.

    BTW, who gets the oil that is piped down through the Alaska Pipe Line?

    Anyone?? Anyone??

    July 30, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. Mike from Westchester

    Oh, and we can build the refineries in Crawford, Texas and Sedona, Arizona, right adjacent to Bush's and McCain's properties.

    July 30, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. marcelo

    *************

    We need a campaign of ads from our top economists out there educating people about the true benefactors of off-shore drilling, how much it will actually impact or gas prices and how off-shore drilling does not solve our dependence on oil.

    *************

    July 30, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. Randy

    Unfortunately, most Americans are wrong about this. It's just like how most Americans were wrong when we were going into Iraq, and now we realize it was a pretty lame idea. Oil companies have used their influence to make the energy crisis all about drilling instead of making it about alternative energy. We need alternative energy now, not in 10 years when the world's starting to run out of oil and everywhere is starting to look like China, all smoggy and gross. We can't have people start dying from Air pollution, that's just not an option. We have to invest in solar, wind, and some types of biodeisel.

    July 30, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. McBride, SLC, UT

    Yes and most American's voted for George Bush. They just cannot quit making big mistakes!

    July 30, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. john

    Its becoming more evident most Americans are morons that think what they are told to think by the media. Both right and left, repubs and dems. Yeah of course the majority want driling now that we're in crisis because they are gullible or dumb enough to fall for a supposed quick fix. Just like the stupid people that can't and never could afford the homes now foreclosed. Just like the clueless that elected W to a second term. Just like those that think Obama is the great hope and those that think every problem is caused by the opposing political party. Our entire government is raping us and most continue to play into their hands. UGH! NO WONDER AMERICA IS F'd. I think it might be time to vote out every incumbent at every level.

    Anyone with a shred of intelligence knows the only long term solution is alternative energy. Its possible if we fund research and develpoment instead of subsidizing big oil. Of course, Ted Stevens might need another addition to his house from his buddy ,the oil exec. But as many of his colleagues said, " He's as honest and updstanding as anyone I know" WHAT??? Looks like our so called leaders are just as dumb as the average American.

    July 30, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Puck

    Pretty soon we're going to be Mole People.
    We're going to have to move underground
    because we are successfully killing this
    planet. We'll have to dig vast, underground
    cities because the surface isn't going to be
    safe anymore due to all the drilling and
    pollution.

    Mole People! MOLE PEOPLE!

    July 30, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. sh

    Here we go again before Pres Bush leaves the office Repulicans want to go away more land leases (belonging to all American) to these oil companies to say thank you for raising the oil prices while making record profits. Voters wake up why don's these oil companies drill on the existing land leases. Another looting of American resources by cronies.

    July 30, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Then most Americans are fools and suckers.

    It is not in the best interest of the oil companies to drill off-shore. It is in the best interest of the oil companies to hoard as much land area where they are allowed to drill. To increase their potential inventories of oil, while everyone runs out.

    Whether or not they actually drill off-shore is another issue. In light of the fact they are hoarding millions of under utilized acres right now speaks volumes.

    July 30, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Mel

    THE PEOPLE WHO WANT MORE OIL DRILLING REALLY DONT KNOW ALL THE FACTS. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE MISLEAD THE PUBLIC FOR SO LONG SO HOW CAN WE TRUST THEM.

    DONT TRUST WHAT THE REPUBS TELL YOU...

    OBAMA .08

    July 30, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Matt--NE

    Most American's support expanding oil exploration and the democrat leadership in Congress is going on vacation.

    Do we really want the poster boy for this 'Congress' running the country?

    The smart Americans are voting NO! on Obama.

    July 30, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Richard

    most of us Americans are stupid and care only abut having enough gas to get to wal mart... drilling is not the answer.. inexpensive hybrid cars made here in america is the answer

    July 30, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. from canada

    no bama Are you as stupid as you sound? How do you figure drilling will help you today? You won't see the first drop of it in 10 years so what is the difference between that and the energy the scientists will produce in 10 to 15 yrs. You must be 1 of the 2/3 of the idiots in your country.

    July 30, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. Another grumpy old white woman for Obama

    Who is going to pay for off-shore drilling? We are. It is expensive.
    Do you really believe that what oil comes from this is all coming to the U.S.? NO! It will be sold to the highest bidders. Just like it is today. Will the price come down? NO! Where will the oil be refined? In the U.S.? No! It will be refined where it is now in Mexico or Canada. This adds to the price even more! Are there wells inland that have been deliberately capped? Yes! Are there acres and acres of land already leased where there has not been drilling? Yes! Are we a nation of gullible car junkies? Yes we are. Would I sell out my country or the planet for a 20 cent savings on gas? Hell no!
    In 5 years alternative energy sources will be readily available. The oceans will be polluted. For what? The status quo sucks. We need to look past tomorrow. There is no gain without pain folks.
    Obama/Biden

    July 30, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9