CNN Poll: Support for increased offshore oil drilling on rise
April 19th, 2011
05:30 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Support for increased offshore oil drilling on rise

Washington (CNN) – One year after the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, support for offshore oil drilling has rebounded despite concerns that the federal government cannot prevent another massive oil spill, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 69 percent of Americans favor increased offshore drilling, with just over three in ten opposed. That 69 percent is up 20 points from last June, while the oil spill was still in progress, and is back to the level of support seen in the summer of 2008.

Full Results (pdf)

"Although support for increased drilling in U.S. waters is highest among Republicans, a majority of Democrats also favor it," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Fifty-six percent of Democrats favor more offshore drilling, compared to 70 percent of independents and 86 percent of Republicans."

The survey's release comes one day before the first anniversary of the spill massive BP oil spill, which claimed 11 lives and released over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It was the worst oil spill in the nation's history.

Fifty-seven percent of those questioned say they are not confident that the federal government can prevent another oil spill as big as the one last year, with four in ten saying they are confident that the government can avoid another disaster.

The poll indicates that only one in nine say that the Gulf of Mexico has completely recovered from the disaster, but another 51 percent say that the Gulf will eventually recover.

"Thirty-six percent say the Gulf will never completely recover, but that's down from the 49 percent who felt that way last summer," adds Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted by telephone, with 824 people questioned. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN poll • Polls
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Well that is until another blow out happens. Then everyone will blame the government again for not cleaning up a private businesses mess. We cannot move forward on alternative energy if we keep going back to the same old ways. Start asking people if they approve of oil in their own back yard. I bet they would say no.

    April 19, 2011 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  2. Robsea69

    A new poll suggests,,, whatever. Its nice thatn CNN encourages EVERYONE to weigh-in on such a heated topic. But the funding and technology needed to go farther and feeper to extract those last barrels of oil, would be put to far better use by investing in the numerous forms of alternative fuel technology. Study after study concurs with this comment. Yet, our addiction to oil will only further hinder real true economic progress for our country. I happen to be living in the Eastern oil-rich province of Saudi Arabia right now. You might be very surprised as to what is happening in this region – massive investments in solar power. Let's continue to be the leader. I want to buy American technology, not Chinese. Agreed?

    April 19, 2011 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  3. Leo Harris

    How can a poll of 824 people represent the 300 million there are in this country? If you want to do a legitmate poll, choose a larger number, say 100,000. This poll is ridiculus.

    April 19, 2011 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  4. in your dreams

    Off shore drilling is fine by me; but it will not be a solution to what we are paying at the pumps. Big oil is going to be sure that we pay more & more while they are also subsidized more & more & Pay $0.00 in U.S. income taxes. Even if Donald Trump becomes dictator of the world & his plan to go into all the Arab nations & take the oil goes into effect; we the lower & middle class, who can't afford to have stock in Big Oil will gain nothing by it.

    April 19, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  5. Clyde

    Not surprising. Americans are the greediest people in the world and if something might put a nickle in our pockets we couldnt care less about the consequences.

    April 19, 2011 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  6. chris

    LOL...the fickle Americans are so easily manipulated it is ridiculous. Gas is up and the first thing Americans scream to do is drill and what we should be doing is screaming at the automakers and oil companies to come up with ways to get the US off fossil fuels!!! Also, oil is being driven up due to speculators who are predicting that issues in the oil producing countries will cause the oil to go up. Now, I ask you how the heck anyone will know what is going to happen in the future. hummm? Americans are being bent over by the oil companies and the speculators and it is time to put a stop to it!!!

    April 19, 2011 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  7. David Weston

    Drill baby drill. Our high fuel prices are self-inflicted due to our self-imposed dependence on foreign oil. It is time for the US to become energy independent, otherwise our economy will be at the mercy of nations bent on our destruction.

    April 19, 2011 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  8. CR

    Simply put: people are lazy morons. Rather than put some effort into using energy that is safe and clean, they'd rather destroy the entire planet one section at a time.

    April 19, 2011 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  9. Clwyd

    It just shows how quickly America's mind set can forget the tragedy that BP has brought and how we have this appetite for oil at all costs!

    April 19, 2011 07:57 am at 7:57 am |