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Most Say Continuing Offshore Ban Will Hurt Economy

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Obama administration announced last week that it is continuing the ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along the Eastern seaboard and in the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Most voters expect that decision to drive up gas prices and hurt the economy.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the new seven-year ban will increase gas prices, while just 11% think it will make gas prices go down. Twenty-five percent (25%) expect the ban to have no impact on prices at the pump. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Similarly, only 15% of voters feel the ban is good for the economy. Fifty-four percent (54%) predict that it will be bad for the economy, but 20% say it will have no impact.

The administration lifted the long-standing ban on offshore drilling in March but almost immediately restored it following the BP oil leak disaster in the Gulf. The ban was lifted recently on drilling in the central and western portions of the Gulf but remains in the eastern Gulf and along the East Coast for at least seven years pending further study of what caused the BP leak.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on December 3-4, 2010 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.

How wide’s the gap between those who favor the ban and those who oppose it? Do most voters still support offshore drilling? Become a Platinum member and find out.

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