Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Offshore Exploration

Charleston, SC – Today, Citizens for Sound Conservation released findings from a statewide poll that show an overwhelming 72 percent of South Carolinians favor increased access to offshore oil and gas resources as part of our overall energy strategy. This comes on the heels of a separate national poll that places support for offshore drilling at 61 percent nationwide.

Though gas prices remain relatively low and environmental concerns are always a priority, these findings suggest South Carolinians understand prices are trending upwards, exploration can be done safely, and that we remain way too dependent on foreign sources of energy.

CSC Board Member Cathy Novinger commented, “It’s well established that the United States imports two-thirds of our oil – much of it from countries that have no interest in seeing us prosper. Add to that the four dollar per gallon gas that is still fresh in everybody’s mind and you have a broad consensus that more offshore energy exploration is a responsible thing to do.”

Another indicator of the support for offshore exploration is the finding that regardless of age, race or income level, South Carolinians overwhelmingly agree with tapping into more of our domestic resources. Every income level, age bracket, gender breakout and major racial breakdown showed a minimum of 65 percent support. Additionally, 57 percent of those polled view Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision to delay the offshore exploration process by six months as a stalling tactic that is not warranted.

Novinger concluded, “South Carolina voters are clearly ahead of the curve on this issue. Thankfully, our state leaders seem to be listening. We encourage the Obama administration and Congressional leaders to do likewise by embracing expanded offshore drilling for oil and natural gas as a safe and effective tool necessary to help ensure more energy independence.”

Wilson Research Strategies conducted the poll of 300 likely South Carolina voters on February 18-19, 2009.

Citizens for Sound Conservation is a not-for-profit non-partisan organization dedicated to improving South Carolina’s environmental and economic quality of life.


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