On Tuesday, Republican nominee John McCain said he favors offshore oil drilling in the U.S. to alleviate rising oil and gas prices. Echoing McCain, President Bush is calling on Congress today to end the federal ban on offshore drilling. Ironically, Bush’s father signed the executive order for the ban in 1990 and brother Jeb opposes the drilling. Bush’s move would effectively go against family sentiment.
While the Democratic nominee Barack Obama is against lifting the ban, the McCain-Bush legacy may not be too far off from America’s public sentiment. Surprising for a seemingly eco-obsessed nation: more than three out of five Americans want to lift the ban and resume drilling. According to Rasmussen Reports on 6/17:
…67% of voters believe that drilling should be allowed off the coasts of California, Florida and other states. Only 18% disagree and 15% are undecided. Conservative and moderate voters strongly support this approach, while liberals are more evenly divided (46% of liberals favor drilling, 37% oppose.)
…64% of voters believe it is at least somewhat likely that gas prices will go down if offshore oil drilling is allowed, although 27% don’t believe it. 78% of conservatives say offshore drilling is at least somewhat likely to drive prices down. That view is shared by 57% of moderates and 50% of liberal voters.
The day before, Rasmussen Reports wrote that 29% favor nationalizing the oil industry, while 47% are opposed. 24% are not sure.
37% of Democrats believe the oil industry should be nationalized. In contrast, Republicans oppose nationalizing the oil industry by a 66% to 16% margin. Unaffiliated voters are opposed by a 47% to 33% margin.