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BP oil spill directs country's viewpoint toward renewable energy

recent poll by Rasmussen Reports, an American public opinion polling firm, confirmed that 73 percent of Americans believe it's important for the United States to cut its dependency on fossil fuels. Rasmussen Reports conducted the poll on June 16-17 asking 1,000 Americans what their thoughts were on fossil fuel dependency, government policies, and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The poll states that 73 percent of American adults believe it's "at least somewhat important for the country to change it's dependency on fossil fuels" while another 42 percent of adults think it's very important. Only 23 percent say it's not important at all. As far as the government's involvement in fossil fuels goes, 41 percent believe government policies should be enacted to "discourage use of fossil fuels and encourage the use of alternative energy." 

BP's recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which began April 20 when the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded, has clearly impacted more than just its surrounding environment. While countless amounts of wildlife have been destroyed and several businesses ruined, this poll indicates that Americans all over the country are speaking out in anger against this disaster, and their not just environmentalists. 

According to the poll, 43 percent of American adults believe that the disastrous oil leak in the Gulf is at least "somewhat likely to change our dependency on fossil fuels in the near future." On that same note, 54 percent of women say the Gulf oil leak will cause America to change its dependency on fossil fuels, but 61 percent of men think that idea is unlikely.

Despite the number of Americans who think cutting fossil fuel dependency is important, a majority of U.S. citizens still believe offshore drilling is vital to meet the energy needs of America. Seventy-six percent think offshore drilling is at least somewhat important in meeting these needs, and 60 percent believe offshore drilling should be allowed despite the oil spill in the Gulf.

When questioned about the United States' future purchases of foreign oil , only 29 percent of citizens believe the country will buy less oil from the Middle East. Forty-five percent think it will stay the same and 19 percent think the U.S. will buy more foreign oil over the next five years. 

There is a ray of light through some of those bleak numbers, though. According to the poll, 48 percent of U.S. citizens say they are likely to buy an alternative energy car in the next 10 years, and 63 percent say "investing in renewable energy resources such as solar and wind is the better long-term financial investment for America than investing in fossil fuels."



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73% say it in a pole but its just a pole
By tastyratz on 6/22/2010 8:13:51 AM , Rating: 1
Its easy to say they want to reduce foreign oil dependency, but you can pry their plastic goods and private vs public transportation from their cold dead hands.

There also is a misconception that opec drives a large majority of foreign oil, media has branded us to believe that oil = terrorist funder. USA gets most of its oil from Canada.

There have been a few major disaster spills with the gulf being the freshest. The problem however is with procedure and planning not product. Oil did not spill on its own, and the proper safety precautions were not taken. Offshore oil drilling should be heavily regulated monitored and inspected by government officials and/or independent third parties on a regular basis.

We just are not anywhere near reducing our dependency very much for so many years its not funny. Technology has developed but alternative energy at the very least for the transport sector just does not have a viable alternative... just proofs of concept. We need some major breakthroughs.




By inperfectdarkness on 6/22/2010 10:40:08 AM , Rating: 2
screw the environment. the #1 reason we need to be independant of foreign oil is national security. unless, of course, you believe that the 1973 oil embargo wasn't actually caused by our support of israel in the yom kippur war. roflmfao.


By tastyratz on 6/22/2010 12:57:55 PM , Rating: 2
Environment or not there are a hundred reasons to

If we reduce overall oil dependency we either reduce energy use as a whole (near impossible, likely to grow) or reduce oil consumption/ increase domestic production. Alternative energies provide an alternative source (just not yet for the transport sector)

After the BP mess do you think turning Alaska into swiss cheese is going to be first on the approval list? If anything the spill is going to screw us into buying more foreign oil due to fear of domestic production failures.

Here are some real numbers though:
http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_...

Look at total petroleum imports at the bottom. Canada and Mexico almost quadruple Saudi Arabia which is also less than Venezuela. High risk security imports are big but a minority compared to other sources. If we were to completely cut ties to at risk countries it would likely be something easily absorbed through alternative sources.


By ZachDontScare on 6/22/2010 2:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
Total agreement. Its more of a national security issue.

Which is why we should drill here, drill now, and drill everywhere we can. We have so much oil and shale (and gas and coal) here its rediculous. Instead, we transfer massive amounts of wealth overseas which then get used against us. Thats wealth that instead could be invested here and make us richer.

The thing most people dont understand about the environment is that a clean environment is a luxury. If you are starving, you're not going to care about the pelicans because you are too busy trying to find food. The nations with the best environmental records are the wealthiest nations who can then use their spare wealth to protect the environment.

Thus, there's this basic truth that most 'environmentalists' dont want to accept: If you want to help the environment, help the economy . Once people get beyond subsistance, they'll start worrying about the environment. And the wealthier they are, the more they'll be able to spend to protect it.


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