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

Poll: Most Americans want offshore drilling

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/30/art.gasprices.gi.jpg caption="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. No Bama

    But Obama does not want !

    He has some special-interest to pursue long-road, he doesnt care, he thinks Americans are bitter.

    Mr. Obama : you must have a foresight. In another 15 years, GAS/petrol may not be required to fuel automotives, for our scientists will deliver new energy source to power autos. So, why not use resources that can make American life simple and better TODAY.

    You have rich and popular friends like Tony Rezko and Wright, we don't. So let us live with affordable resources that are available.

    July 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Minnesota against Johnny McSame


    This whole thing is just a retirement plan for the 2 oilmen in White House.

    July 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Shasta

    I'm with you, Sane John- I don't get how two thirds can support drilling, but only half think it will help. Keep it strong, congressional democrats! Explain your side to the American people- the only real fix for our energy crisis is to move to solar/wind energy that won't run out and doesn't destroy the environment to produce. Explain that while neither will help in the short term, alternative energy sources will help in the much longer run than just drilling for more oil.

    July 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    Recently watching C-Span House of Representative proceedings on the issue of drilling off our coasts demonstrates that the GOP (GREED OVER PRINCIPLE) is owned by the oil company robber barons.

    The fact is that increased drilling will take 5 or more years to have any effect. Anyone who believes otherwise is either deluded or an idiot.

    July 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Is PUMA contagious? I don't want to catch it!

    Well this also proves most Americans are stupid. Are these the same people that believe Obama is a Muslim? Its just as bad as the gas tax thing; its not going to help, yet you still want it. Lord have mercy!

    July 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    So two thirds want drilling, and half of them don't know why.

    Sounds like Americans.

    July 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  7. Dave

    I'm a Dem and an Obama supporter. But I wouldn't mind us tapping into a few more of our own reserves.
    My bigger concern is finding alternatives. Opening territory to drilling may have an effect on the speculators, which could drive down the price of oil on the global market. Eventually that oil will hit the market and help...but ultimately we are going to run out.
    The only reason I support drilling at home is that when we find an alternative for fuel/power, we will still need oil for plastics, and we might as well use our own instead of someone elses.
    Yeah, more drilling here is ok by me, but whats much much more important is that we find an alternative to the oil addiction.

    Anyways, its not like opening up more territory to the oil companies will mean hundreds of new platforms out there. Probably just 1 or 2 nationwide. Oil prices are slipping back down, so the drive isn't there to invest more money now...they just want us to open it up. Once it's open, and the oil companies buy up the rights, we won't ever be able to take it back. They just want to have a claim to the property for future development.

    July 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. Whats left in your wallet?

    We also want speculators stoned in the public square.

    July 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. soy

    God help America because with this level of ignorance I don't know what else to do but pray for our nation because people don't seem to get it.

    July 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Texas Voter

    Drilling WILL bring prices down. If the US sends the message, that we are drastically increasing oil production, then the world will know that a large amount of oil will be entering the market.

    Once we increase domestic drilling, then we can actually move oil from the stategic oil reserves into the market.

    Oil rigs serve as artificial reefs and fish flock to oil rigs, I know, I've worked offshore. People who think they hurt the ecosystem dont know what they are talking about. Oil rigs are somewhat of an eye sore, but you can put rigs over the horizon, so you wouldn't be able to see rigs from the beach. States should decide.

    We also need wind, solar, and nuclear. But unless you have an electric car, then you can't use wind, solar and nuclear to power automobiles. THATS's why we need oil, so it can be converted to gas Using food for fuel drives up food prices and it's downright unethical.

    I hope all of you read this and learn something.

    July 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    Who are these 2/3 of American's that are polled???? I've never been polled for anything. The interesting thing about this poll is 49% say it won't reduce gas prices but yet favor off shore drilling. Hmmmm. I guess these are the same people that voted little bushie into office, not once, but twice. How stupid are we as American's. Sad to say, these same people will probably put McCain into office. That said, if you are happy with little bushie, you'll be even happier with McCain, more of the same.

    July 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. NC Dem

    Most of us want a new Mercedes-Benz, but that doesnt mean we need it. The car we already have will do just fine. Just as they can finish using the land that is already available, and drill on that. Offshore rigs will hurt many states economies. Ruining views from beaches, etc.

    July 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. dan

    i am all for making the richest americans even richer through the american peoples resources. NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. It isn't too late to pursue alternative energy!!

    Polls never accurately portray peoples views. If the idiots at CNN had half a brain they would focus on states where off shore drilling could be a possibility. Here in Florida, I don't think people are willing to risk a robust money making tourist industry that depends on the keys and the beautiful aquatic life for income. I don't think people are wiling to risk loosing one of the largest coral reefs in the world to a potential oil spill. It's also important to note that coral helps protect Florida from the full brunt of hurricanes. Are we willing to loose those natural defenses for a potential discovery of oil, that isn't a sure bet? It doesn't surprise me that Americans want more energy, but why couldn't this country had been smart enough to actively pursue alternative forms a fuel that has left a country like Brazil much better off than the US. It's not too late to pursue other forms of energy now!

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. Mike in MN

    Even if it does not bring down the cost of gas in the short term, it will be tremendous help in the long term in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and keep billions of our dollars in the US.
    Thinking there is any kind of short term solution to ending the need for gasoline powered transportation is stupid. Currently, electric powered cars are only good for short commutes, than they need to switch over to gas. And most Americans can't afford to go out and by a new hybred car. It will be a long time before advances in technology and the average American's pocket book will make gasoline powered cars obsolete. And that does not even begin to touch the diesel powered trucks that transport allmost all products across America.
    Offshore drilling is a must for the American economy and security, both long term and short.
    Only brain dead Obama and the Democrates leading Congress don't seem to get it. We all know that 70% of the American people includes more than just Republicans.
    GO McCAIN IN 08!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. Witness to History

    This isn't a quick fix issue. We are dependant on oil and will be dependant for decades to come.
    We do need to exploit our resources and drill for future needs.
    It it's true that China is drilling outside the 50 mile limit of our shores, why shouldn't we drill closer?

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. scott

    Offshore drilling is a bogus argument. Ca and Fl will never vote for it. Let's move on to a real suggestion for change.

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Allan

    You wrong,Eric. American start to wake up. They see obama is fake.When McCain flew 37 combat mission, Obama was smoking pot and crack. No obama,Eric.

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. Not surprised.

    Yeah, those are probably the same folks that elected GWBush – TWICE!

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Dandelion.

    Most Americans are dumb as a doorknob, it sounds good but no one actually does any research, if they did, they'd be against it.

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. joseph

    If there is significant oil to drill for offshore, where will we refine it? As T. Boone Pickens aptly points out there is no magic bullet. We need a comprehensive energy plan that doesn't just focus on the price of gasoline but focuses on our dependence upon foreign oil. No matter what the price of gasoline we need to end our dependence upon foreign oil. Just imagine if we had to depend upon foreign food sources instead of the abundant sources of food produced by American farmers and agribusiness.

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Ken

    There is nothing wrong with drilling off shore! It is time to start getting ourselves independent of foreign oil. The only way that we can do that is to obtain oil from within our own country.

    The majority of the American public wants the drilling to start, and sooner the better! If we don't start drilling and continue to import our oil, we might as well just turn over our country to the mid eastern countries.

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. Todd

    How about just drilling in the millions of acres of offshore areas ALREADY LEASED?!? Right, they already have that and just need more...

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. BJ

    Drill off-shore and in ANWR.

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. Elliott

    To quote Dick Cheney, "So?"

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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