Fossil Fuels

Published on July 11th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer


Majority of Americans Now Against Off-Shore Drilling

July 11th, 2010 by  

According to a just released poll by Rasmussen published at Enviroknow, it appears that Republican voters have now moved left, tipping the nation’s majority against off-shore oil drilling. Pre-disaster, only 31% of Republicans were concerned or somewhat concerned, so along with the 70% of Democrats who were concerned it was a wash. But now that 50% of Republicans say that they are very or somewhat concerned, the nation’s tipping point is reached. (Democrats concern has grown to 84%.)

As of two months into this disaster, more than half of all Americans are now against drilling for off-shore oil.


But this month, Republican Senators plan to (once more) filibuster legislation to end our dependence on dirty energy.

What is more, of this Republican group of likely voters surveyed, almost all of them said they were following the ‘offshore drilling incident’ closely – 93%. This means it really has their attention, because if they didn’t care, they wouldn’t be following it closely. They do see what is happening. If they are following it, then they are beginning to understand the implications of fossil energy dependence.

This is in marked contrast to the Republican response to science and climate change, where the response to an even more catastrophic danger has been to put their fingers in their ears and see nothing, there is no global warming, it’s all a hoax, Al Gore, scientists are just in it for the money or whatever.

Partly, this difference in attention is due to an accident of fate, that is a fortuitous circumstance. On this disaster, there is accurate media coverage, only because THE fundamental tenet of media coverage is “If it bleeds, it leads.”

The Gulf apocalypse of oil ‘bleeds’ so well, that it overcomes the usual disinformation campaign that the media normally provides on behalf of the fossil industry. Typically, even PBS shows such as News Hour or The Diane Rheem Show will have disproportionate representation from fossil industry-lobbying groups like the American Enterprise Institute and The Heritage Foundation to counteract one climate scientist, and that’s if they even cover climate change news. Balanced by Republican media that blares out a steady diet of misinformation about climate change, it was easy to isolate even sophisticated Republican voters from the facts.

But as a result of the ‘bleeds must lead’ coverage, even Republican voters are now getting the real news on an environmental ill effect of fossil energy. And it is changing them. They are not so different from Democrats after all on this issue. Only two months into just one environmental catastrophe (that we’ll see many more of as we scrape even further the bottom of the barrel for oil) they are now, after just two months of the scales being lifted, able to see environmental risk.

In sharp contrast, when Palin was arousing their fervor to Drill, Baby, Drill! during the McCain campaign, Republican support for off-shore drilling was at 90%. The media is finally bringing it home to Republican voters that we are in danger, in such a visceral way that it bypasses their defenses and they can understand it.

This month, the Senate votes on clean energy legislation to cap and start to reduce pollution from dirty energy. I hope for all our sakes that the single voting bloc of Republican Senators who consistently oppose any move to clean energy see that their constituents can now see reality.

Image: Enviroknow

Susan Kraemer @Twitter

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

  • Anna Nest

    The majority of Americans may be against offshore drilling only because of the recent spill. Were the majority of Americans against transporting oil on cargo ships in light of the Exxon Valdez disaster?

    Unfortunately, the new “clean” energy prices are absolutely out of control. The average American is not able to afford solar or windpower. Electric cars may sound eco-friendly, but where do we get electricity? Coal plants.

    Rather than focus on extremely new and expensive technologies, Americans should focus on resources we already have here in America. It is a shame that we are not investing in neither nuclear power nor investing in the infrastructure necessary to use our over 100 year supply of natural gas. The “ruling class,” the people who control us, want us to develop wind and solar instead (despite NOT allowing a solar facility in the middle of the Mohave dessert to be built, enough to supply 140,000 homes with electricity, because it might endanger the dessert tortoise.) Now THAT is something to be truly angry about. Our future prosperity as a country is in grave danger.

    Are you going to do your part in stopping these wackos?

  • Kum Dollison

    You were doing fine until you wobbled off into “Catastrophic” Climate Change. More, and more, people just can’t agree with the “Science” behind that one. It’s, on net, detrimental to your argument.

    • Well “science” didn’t used to require a vote of approval by anonymous blog commenters outside that science field. Only climate science. Would you also demand that Civil engineers designing bridges submit their “science” to you first for your approval? Of course not.

      Safeguards need to be put in to prevent catastrophic failure in both cases, and the climate scientists who tallied the evidence so far, and accurately predicted the results, (ice caps melting, increased warming, more floods, heavier precipitation, ecosystem disruptions bringing new pests (e.g. the Pine Bark beetle eating up a third of some states and BC, Canada, because it no longer gets cold enough for long enough in winter to kill them) and who warn of them are just doing their job, just like civil engineers are.

      Scientists agree more and more that they can find no refutation for the constantly accumulating evidence of climate change happening, and continuing to increase catastrophically over centuries – and they are the only ones whose “agreement” is relevant. That is not for want of trying. Toppling the theory would mean huge fame for any who could.

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