A year ago today, an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig marked the beginning of the most devastating oil spill ever in the Gulf of Mexico. Most voters now think the cleanup from that spill has been fairly successful and appear less concerned about the long-term effect on the environment. But voters still give low grades to both the federal government and the companies responsible for their response to the spill.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters feel the cleanup of last year’s oil spill was at least somewhat successful, while 38% disagree. Those figures include just 10% who say it was Very Successful and eight percent (8%) who believe it was Not At All Successful. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Only 24% of voters now say the government did a good or excellent job in responding to the spill, while 33% rate its performance as poor. As for the companies responsible, 20% now give them credit for a good or excellent response. Thirty-eight percent (38%) view their response as poor. Ratings for the companies have improved slightly since last August.
Republicans give the companies involved better marks for their response to the spill, while Democrats are more inclined to praise the government reaction. Unaffiliated voters are critical of both.
Support for deepwater drilling has now rebounded to 59%.
Eighteen percent (18%) of voters still think the spill will have a devastating environmental impact in the long-term, although this is down 19 points since May of last year. Thirty-seven percent (37%) now view the long-term impact as major, 27% say modest and 15% see the long-term effect as minor or little lasting.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on April 17-18, 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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