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Americans See Cut in Foreign Oil Dependence As Unlikely

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Most Americans agree with President Obama’s recent statement about the need to limit U.S. dependence on foreign oil, but the majority also think it’s unlikely America will reduce that dependence as much as the president would like.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 60% of American Adults believe it is more important to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil than it is to reduce the price of gasoline. Thirty-three percent (33%) disagree and say reducing the price of gasoline is more important. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

However, only 38% think the United States is even somewhat likely to reduce its dependence on foreign oil by the year 2025, a goal set by the president in an energy plan made public last week. Fifty-eight percent (58%) think a reduction of this magnitude is unlikely. These findings include 11% who say a one-third cut in foreign oil imports is Very Likely by 2025 and 17% who feel it’s Not At All Likely.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of adults say free-market competition is more likely to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil than government subsidies and regulations. Twenty-eight percent (28%) think government subsides and regulations would be more effective. One-in-four Americans (25%) are not sure which would work best.

To lessen the country’s dependence on foreign oil, 50% are ready to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), but just half as many (25%) support returning to 55 mile per hour speed limits on all major U.S. highways. 

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The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on March 31-April 1, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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