Times-Picayune: Should the government open more offshore areas to oil and gas drilling? VOTE NOW

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This June 2011 file photo shows a drilling rig known as the Maersk Developer in the Gulf of Mexico about 250 miles off the coast of Louisiana in about 7,000 feet of water. (Photo provided by Exxon Mobil Corp.)
By Jennifer Larino, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
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on July 23, 2014 at 12:10 PM, updated July 23, 2014 at 12:12 PM
More than two-thirds of American voters support increased oil and natural gas drilling offshore, though many think the federal government is not doing enough to encourage activity, according to an American Petroleum Institute poll released Wednesday (July 23).

Do you support increased oil and gas production in federal waters offshore? Take the reader survey below and share your opinion in the comments.

The API poll found 68 percent of registered voters surveyed support offshore drilling. That included about 80 percent of Republican voters, 72 percent of Independent voters and 61 percent of Democrat voters.

About one quarter of respondents said they think the U.S. government does enough to encourage oil and gas development on federal lands and waters.

The telephone poll, conducted by Harris Poll between July 10 and 13, surveyed 1,012 registered voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.  

Should the federal government open more offshore areas to oil and gas drilling?



I’m not sure. I’ll explain why in the comment section.

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It comes as the Obama administration drafts its latest five-year plan for selling oil and gas leases offshore. The plan will take effect starting in 2017.

Last Friday (July 18) the administration said it would allow the energy industry to search for oil and gas under Atlantic waters using seismic testing, potentially paving the way for drilling in the area.

Environmentalists argue the testing, which uses air guns and noisy sonic blasts, is harmful to marine life.

In a conference call with reporters, Erik Milito, director of upstream and industry operations for API, said the poll results show the government needs to open development in the Atlantic as well as parts of the Pacific and eastern Gulf of Mexico currently off limits to oil and gas companies.

“Clearly voters do not think energy should be a partisan issue,” Milito said. 

What do you think?


Special thanks to Richard Charter

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