Q-poll shows Americans back offshore drilling, nuclear power

posted at 1:36 pm on March 31, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

In his energy speech yesterday, Barack Obama took the time to slam the “drill, baby, drill” political movement as nothing more than an empty slogan, and a gimmick that wouldn’t solve our problems … while standing in front of his “Winning the Future” backdrop.  According to the latest survey from Quinnipiac, most Americans beg to differ.  By more than a 2-1 margin, Americans want new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, an effort hampered by the White House’s “permitorium” since the BP spill, and a plurality still support nuclear power as well:

On energy policy, American voters:

  • Support by a narrow 48 – 45 percent building new nuclear plants, but oppose 58 – 38 percent building new plants in their town or city;
  • Support 67 – 28 percent new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico;
  • Oppose 56 – 38 percent releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. …

“Some might find it surprising that despite the spike in gasoline prices American voters don’t think tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a smart idea.  They apparently are buying the argument that the current situation is not so serious that the big pool of petroleum the country has set aside for emergencies should be used.  And there is strong support for lifting the ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The NIMBY response on nuclear is disappointing, but not surprising.  That will make it more difficult for political momentum to expedite new plants, which to his credit Obama still publicly supports.  Watching a plant go critical in Japan will certainly shake confidence, but the design for plants today would actually increase safety and security in the nuclear-power infrastructure here — which is decades old but still provides around 19% of all electricity generated in the US.

Voters appear to have figured out the folly of raiding the SPR, too.  Obama didn’t actually endorse the idea of releasing oil from the reserve, but he didn’t categorically rule out the option, either.  That’s a gimmick that really does nothing to increase domestic supplies or act to keep long-term costs down; in fact, the US would have to refill the SPR down the road, which would once again drive up prices on the spot market.

Instead, Americans want increased domestic production, which will help in a number of ways. Just acting to expand exploration and production will create downward pressure on spot-market prices, as we saw in 2008.  Opening production across the board would create hundreds of thousands of jobs in an economy that sorely needs them, and expanding domestic production will eventually curb the transfer of capital to nations in the Middle East.  All of these would boost the American economy and keep fuel and energy prices from creating a stagflation effect as we saw in the 1970s.  Voters have figured it out; we’ll see if Obama can catch up to the electorate.


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And the cries of the peasants went up to the king, but the king was out on the links.

NickDeringer on March 31, 2011 at 1:40 PM

“All of these would boost the American economy and keep fuel and energy prices from creating a stagflation effect as we saw in the 1970s…”

But what would be the effect on Petrobras…?

THAT is the more important question..

/

Seven Percent Solution on March 31, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Speaking of NIMBY: Obama did mention “I” 35 times during that speech…

mjbrooks3 on March 31, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Considering how rich in natural resources we are as a nation, its criminal that we’re going to these 3rd world potentates with Hat in Hand for energy we have right here. To say nothing of rare-earth minerals and other resources.

Iblis on March 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Voters have figured it out; we’ll see if Obama can catch up to the electorate.

I don’t have any faith that Obama will change his tune. I’m more concerned about those voters. They tell the pollsters they want more domestic drilling, but they keep voting for politicians who stand in the way of that. Put your money(or in this case your vote) where your mouth is, people.

Doughboy on March 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Petrobras? Aren’t those rubber bustiers?

Sorry, wrong thread.

Ward Cleaver on March 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

“Mr. President, your offshore drilling moratorium is ‘arbitrary and capricious.’ We don’t want an unemployment check!”

“LET US GO BACK TO WORK!LET US GO BACK TO WORK!LET US GO BACK TO WORK!LET US GO BACK TO WORK! WE DON’T WANT AN UNEMPLOYMENT CHECK!LET US GO BACK TO WORK!LET US GO BACK TO WORK!”

-Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, July 24, 2010, Lafayette, Louisiana, “Rally For Economic Survival”

cane_loader on March 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

So the government’s only going to buy alt-fuel vehicles? Deficit, what deficit?

Ward Cleaver on March 31, 2011 at 1:46 PM

I think you yanks should drill for oil wherever you can find it and flood the market with cheap oil. You could put the arabs right out of business. Think of the savings and security this would provide!

Scarbarian on March 31, 2011 at 1:46 PM

I filmed Bobby Jindal at the rally last July. Here’s my film again:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5hyE3FUm6w

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czk8Lqs7yNM

cane_loader on March 31, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Oh he likes drill baby drill just not here
Broca bebê broca is great for Brasil but not here

esnap on March 31, 2011 at 1:48 PM

When I first read that headline I thought it said “Q-poll shows Americans back off offshore drilling, nuclear power”

Phew…

crazywater on March 31, 2011 at 1:49 PM

I think you yanks should drill for oil wherever you can find it and flood the market with cheap oil. You could put the arabs right out of business. Think of the savings and security this would provide!

Scarbarian on March 31, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Nope, it’s more likely that we’ll ramp up production of unicorn farts.

Ward Cleaver on March 31, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Maybe it’s time to launch an “Oil Party” in addition to the Tea Party.

Transferring our wealth to the Middle East and Brazil even continues to weaken the country. The lack of jobs literally means that millions of American kids go to bed hungry at night. This is serious business.

Ordinary1 on March 31, 2011 at 1:51 PM

It’s unbelievable (literally) the rhetoric coming from President Obama today. This is coming from he who is manipulating the U.S. energy supply. President Obama is once again giving lip service to a “new energy proposal”; but let’s remember the last time he trotted out a “new energy proposal” – nearly a year ago to the day. The main difference is today we have $4 a gallon gas in some places in the country. This is no accident. This administration is not a passive observer to the trends that have inflated oil prices to dangerous levels. His war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production has caused us pain at the pump, endangered our already sluggish economic recovery, and threatened our national security. Through a process of what candidate Obama once called “gradual adjustment,” American consumers have seen prices at the pump rise 67 percent since he took office. Meanwhile, the vast undeveloped reserves that could help to keep prices at the pump affordable remain locked up because of President Obama’s deliberate unwillingness to drill here and drill now. We’re subsidizing offshore drilling in Brazil and purchasing energy from them, instead of drilling ourselves and keeping those dollars circulating in our own economy to generate jobs here. The President said today, “There are no quick fixes.” He’s been in office for nearly three years now, and he’s about to launch his $1 billion re-election campaign. When can we expect any “fixes” from him? How high does the price of energy have to go?

So, here’s a little flashback to what I wrote on March 31, 2010, at National Review Online’s The Corner:

Many Americans fear that President Obama’s new energy proposal is once again “all talk and no real action,” this time in an effort to shore up fading support for the Democrats’ job-killing cap-and-trade (a.k.a. cap-and-tax) proposals. Behind the rhetoric lie new drilling bans and leasing delays; soon to follow are burdensome new environmental regulations. Instead of “drill, baby, drill,” the more you look into this the more you realize it’s “stall, baby, stall.”………

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150142243663435

unseen on March 31, 2011 at 1:52 PM

we are already backing offshore drilling. It just so happens to be off the shore of Brazil, but it’s backed nonetheless by all of us–a couple billion worth of backing, FWIW.

ted c on March 31, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Drill Brazil Drill
Drill Saudi Drill
Drill Yemen Drill
Drill China Drill
Drill Russia Drill
Drill Mexico Drill
Drill Cuba Drill
Drill Canada Drill
Drill Libya Drill
Drill Yemen Drill
Drill UK Drill
Drill Norway Drill
Drill Iraq Drill
Drill Venezuela Drill
Drill Chile Drill
Drill Indonesia Drill
Drill Vietnam Drill
Drill Ukraine Drill
Drill Phillipines Drill
Drill America Baby Drill

The Obama Energy Policy right thar.

PappyD61 on March 31, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Voters have figured it out; we’ll see if Obama can catch up to the electorate.

He’s focused like a laser..on the polls, but he’s got some major headwind with the greenies. I think a blue ribbon fact finding commission might be just the ticket here. Like the deficit commission.

a capella on March 31, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Obama-Liar/Biden-Baffoon = Unemployed in 2012

MJZZZ on March 31, 2011 at 1:58 PM

The NIMBY response on nuclear is disappointing, but not surprising.

Not sure that quite follows, really. Keep in mind that cities are not particularly good locations for nuclear power plants, which are better located in places with low population density. It would probably be a better indication to look at a map of the response to this kind of question, but that would take a lot of sampling.

Count to 10 on March 31, 2011 at 1:59 PM

More urgent than building new nuclear power plants is to open yucca moutain to recieve spent nuclear fuel. This won’t be done till after we get rid of Reid as the senate majority leader. I believe he has invested in real estate near yucca moutain since he has had an effective veto on opening the depository.

burt on March 31, 2011 at 2:02 PM

To replace one nuclear power plant, or one coal producing power plant you need about 300 to 400 square miles of wind turbines or about 100 square miles of clear cut, no growth solar panels, that use highly toxic chemicals to produce.
So tell me where the “environmentalists” will allow such a thing to be built.
In perspective, one mile wide from LA to Sf, solid wind turbines…

Say we need 100 plants, that would be 10,000 sq. miles of clear cut, no growth near cities, or about 35,000 sq. mi. for wind turbines…Maine, South Carolina, Indiana, all fall in about that size. And that is just for 100 plants. We have over 600 coal plants…
That would be 210,000,000 sq. mi….or about all of California and all of New York…wind turbines, the future…yeah, that will work.

right2bright on March 31, 2011 at 2:03 PM

He ignores the Constitution, Congress and the American people, to his peril I hope. One good thing, the absenteeism voting should increase in ’12, no one can afford to drive to the polls.

Kissmygrits on March 31, 2011 at 2:05 PM

The Middle East is practically in flames but may get much worse and over a third of the people want to open up the strategic oil reserve now? Craziness.

DRILL NOW.

Anybody keeping track of the whole it takes 10 years to see a drop of oil crap the dems were spewing a few years ago? Even if you take them at their word (which is BS) we’d be getting there, wouldn’t we?

WitchDoctor on March 31, 2011 at 2:12 PM

On energy policy, American voters:

Support 67 – 28 percent new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico;

Note to Senators: this is a veto-proof majority!

Hey Bammy, bring those rigs back from Brasil !

“Some might find it surprising that despite the spike in gasoline prices American voters don’t think tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a smart idea. They apparently are buying the argument that the current situation is not so serious that the big pool of petroleum the country has set aside for emergencies should be used.

It’s not that big–about two months’ worth of current imports. Better save it just in case Al Qaeda takes over Saudi Arabia and closes the spigots–we’ll need it to run warplanes and tanks.

Then again, if we got serious about developing shale oil in the Rockies, in 20 years we wouldn’t need Saudi oil. Are you listening, Secretary Salazar?

Steve Z on March 31, 2011 at 2:13 PM

PappyD61 on March 31, 2011 at 1:54 PM

I think it’s accurate to say that Obama’s energy policy is “Starve America: No Energy of Any Kind”!!.

Not only does Obama obstruct every form of energy which actually works (including coal, oil, gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric), the “alternatives” being subsidized are designed to fail…and fail in a way which disrupts and defeats our national grid in the process.

So even if his membership in the organization is informal or merely sympathetic, Obama is functioning as “Al Qaeda’s Point Man”: accomplishing more destruction than the airline attacks ever could. Before Obama, Al Qaeda only managed $40 Billion of damage to America. Obama has inflicted 60-70 times that amount of damage already this year!!!

landlines on March 31, 2011 at 2:18 PM

You know…

If I were a politician running for the executive branch, I would play Obowma in his own words…

… then look the American people in the eye and say:

“Not me! Under my ‘Energy Plan’, energy prices will be lowered. We are going to open up every inch of land in the United States for energy production, on and off shore. I am going to give tax breaks and incentives for entrepreneurs to create new, and efficient way of harvesting oil, natural gas, shale, coal, solar, geothermal, and yes, nuclear power. I am going to put this “Man Made Global Warming/Climate Change” hoax to rest once and for all, and we will join the world market in selling our excess energy to generate the revenue needed to balance our budget and pay off our debt. While I’m at it, all funding to the EPA is cut, and I am pushing for “Loser Pay” legislation to curb frivoulus law suits.”

Seven Percent Solution on March 31, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Petrobras? Aren’t those rubber bustiers?
Ward Cleaver on March 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

That’s a good’en.
Of course one needs oil to produce ‘em.
Move along.

pambi on March 31, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Seven Percent Solution on March 31, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Can I vote for that one, yet ??

pambi on March 31, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Kool aid drinker: B-b-but Obama said he was smarter than the rest of us. So he knows. No slogans are gonna solve these problems. We need new ways to fuel our homes and cars. No idea what those ways are, but Obama knows. Cause he’s smart. He said so.

capejasmine on March 31, 2011 at 2:23 PM

The NIMBY response on nuclear is disappointing, but not surprising. That will make it more difficult for political momentum to expedite new plants, which to his credit Obama still publicly supports.

Well, he supports drilling, too.

Knott Buyinit on March 31, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Seven Percent Solution on March 31, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Maybe you should be a politician. :D

capejasmine on March 31, 2011 at 2:25 PM

So tell me where the “environmentalists” will allow such a thing to be built.

right2bright on March 31, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Why, in flyover country, of course, where the bitter gun-toting, Bible thumping Neanderthals live. Enviros and lib elitists would reduce rural America to a power generator for urban centers.

Did you notice when Mayor Bloomberg suggested putting wind turbines on top of NYC’s tall buildings, he was almost run out of town on a rail.

petefrt on March 31, 2011 at 2:29 PM

A big WTF to Obama’s speech?

That’s “Where’s The Fuel?

MassVictim on March 31, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Obama has nothing against drilling for oil here. He just wants it to happen in the right order. First you have to be a third world country–then you can drill for oil.

ElectricPhase on March 31, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Ummm, why do we need to drill offshore? Why not open Gull Island. Why not coal and Nat Gas? Why is the only choice nukes and offsore drilling?

This poll sucks.

Screw nukes, we have enough other energy sources here. After Fukishima, why would anyone want new nukes. When the crap hits the fan, all you get is coverups and incompetents saying we did not see this comming.

Octavia on March 31, 2011 at 3:08 PM

•Support 67 – 28 percent new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

That means a respectable amt. of Dem’s are onboard – maybe all of ‘em aren’t as disturbed as I thought.

Tim_CA on March 31, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Watching a plant go critical in Japan…

Uh, ALL “nuclear plants” go critical, by definition, or they don’t produce power. I believe you meant the situation at the plant.

karl9000 on March 31, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Palin wipes the room with him on this issue.

Done That on March 31, 2011 at 3:21 PM

The NIMBY response on nuclear is disappointing, but not surprising. That will make it more difficult for political momentum to expedite new plants

No, what it would take would be a President with the balls to issue and finding that it’s within our national security interests to proceed.

And don’t look to Barry No-Balls for any help. He’s FOR a lot of things – some he pushes, others he just backs with talk.

GarandFan on March 31, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Screw nukes, we have enough other energy sources here. After Fukishima, why would anyone want new nukes. When the crap hits the fan, all you get is coverups and incompetents saying we did not see this comming.

Octavia on March 31, 2011 at 3:08 PM

You’re in the minority. Besides, except for one idiotic nuclear plant in California, ours can’t get hit by tsunamis.

Squiggy on March 31, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Obama has nothing against drilling for oil here. He just wants it to happen in the right order. First you have to be a third world country–then you can drill for oil.

ElectricPhase on March 31, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Ouch!! Unfortunately, I think you hit the nail on the head.

JSGreg3 on March 31, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Anybody keeping track of the whole it takes 10 years to see a drop of oil crap the dems were spewing a few years ago? Even if you take them at their word (which is BS) we’d be getting there, wouldn’t we?

WitchDoctor on March 31, 2011 at 2:12 PM

And you know it only takes a few years, we have the infrastructure already in place…your main point is perfect, we would have already been there if we had ignored them 10 years ago…but then we also would not have had Obama either.

right2bright on March 31, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Screw nukes, we have enough other energy sources here. After Fukishima, why would anyone want new nukes. When the crap hits the fan, all you get is coverups and incompetents saying we did not see this comming.

Octavia on March 31, 2011 at 3:08 PM

What “other” energy sources…

right2bright on March 31, 2011 at 4:33 PM

What “other” energy sources…

right2bright on March 31, 2011 at 4:33 PM

All the ones environmentalist wackos won’t let us develop:

Hydro: Kills fish
Wind: Kills birds
Solar: Kills deserts
Oil, Natural gas, coal: CO2 kills the climate
Nuclear: Kills everything.

Those energy sources.

JSGreg3 on March 31, 2011 at 4:39 PM

And you know it only takes a few years, we have the infrastructure already in place…your main point is perfect, we would have already been there if we had ignored them 10 years ago…but then we also would not have had Obama either.

right2bright on March 31, 2011 at 4:32 PM

10 years ago? How about (at least) 34 years ago? That’s when drilling was first proposed for ANWR — 1977. Enviro wackos continually (somewhat) correctly say, “ANWR won’t help us currently. It’ll take 20 years to develop.” Our response should be, “Yeah, fools, and if we had started drilling in ’77, the US would have been reaping profits from ANWAR oil for the past 14 years.”

The statement for today should be, “So … we’re not going to need any energy in 20 years?”

JSGreg3 on March 31, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Screw nukes, we have enough other energy sources here. After Fukishima, why would anyone want new nukes. When the crap hits the fan, all you get is coverups and incompetents saying we did not see this comming.

Octavia on March 31, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Because aside from the cost effectiveness of nuclear power. (Especially if you can keep the green fascists out of the equation.)

With everything that went wrong at Fukishima there still is no evidence that there will be long term ill effects from Fukishima. All the real problems happened because of the interruption of coolant flow, modern nuclear reactor designs use passive cooling, that eliminate that threat.

Slowburn on March 31, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Its unfortunate that the term “nuclear” power exists. When people hear the term “nuclear” they think bombs and radiation. Nuclear power, unlike nuclear bombs, is very safe. Comparing the radiation from a nuke plant to a nuke explosion is like comparing the size of a baseball to the size of the earth.

This is a great chart that compares doses of radiation and its source. Nuclear power is very safe.

I’ve worked at a world renown nuclear facility, and my office was right next to a former reactor. And by “next to” I mean I looked out my office window and the next wall was the reactor. There was nothing to worry about.

I’m fine with a nuclear reactor in my back yard.

BVM on March 31, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Along with drilling, we need to build more refineries. The ones we have now are not sufficient to meet our gasoline and other petro-products needs. Drill here and build more refineries. Our fuel prices drop and we can sell to the global market as well. What’s not to like?

sirnapsalot on March 31, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Today: $3.59/gal Fort Worth, Texas.

txhsmom on March 31, 2011 at 6:39 PM

The BANANA crowd (Build Absolutely Nothing, Anywhere, Near Anything) seems to have a mental picture of nuclear power made up from old episodes of “The Simpsons” and “The China Syndrome.” I guess someone forgot to teach them the difference between real-life and make-believe during their preschool years.

Take a page from the US Navy. They’ve operated more reactors for longer than anyone else. If they make nuclear pay off so well, why shouldn’t the rest of us?

Blacksmith on March 31, 2011 at 11:24 PM

In his energy speech yesterday, Barack Obama took the time to slam the “drill, baby, drill” political movement as nothing more than an empty slogan, and a gimmick that wouldn’t solve our problems … while standing in front of his “Winning the Future” backdrop.

How embarrassing. If only he had some styrofoam Greek pillars to stand in front of when he said it, so we could take him seriously.

There Goes The Neighborhood on April 1, 2011 at 1:30 AM