Energy & Environment

Majority of voters oppose Trump offshore drilling plan: poll


More than half of voters oppose proposed plans by the Trump administration to expand oil and gas drilling off coastal states, according to a poll out Tuesday.

The survey conducted by the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland found that 60 percent of voters surveyed are against the Interior Department’s plan to lift a ban on oil drilling along coastlines and expand drilling around Alaska.

Additionally, 70 percent of respondents supported states’ rights to request a drilling exemption through a waiver, the study found.


Support for lifting the ban on drilling largely fell along party lines. Democrats and independents opposed lifting the ban by 86 and 60 percent, respectively, and similarly supported granting states waiver authority by 86 and 65 percent, respectively. On the other hand, two-thirds of Republicans surveyed supported lifting the offshore drilling ban, with 56 percent of Republicans supporting state waiver rights.

When the study asked respondents who lived in one of the the 15 coastal U.S. states currently requesting an exemption, 88 percent of Democrats approved of their state’s request, as did 50 percent of Republicans.

The poll comes at a time when states are mulling over the authority they have to deny the Trump administration its plan to expand offshore drilling on the coast in order to increase profits from oil and gas royalties.

Currently, most coastal states that would be affected have requested a waiver. Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke admitted in a hearing last month that oil and gas company interest in offshore drilling is also significantly lower than their interest in land drilling.

The poll was conducted online and surveyed 2,003 registered voters from March 9 to 23 with a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.

Tags Drilling offshore oil and gas Ryan Zinke

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