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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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so they ask 1000 people
By rocky12345 on 6/22/2010 10:29:00 AM , Rating: 2
They ask 1000 people & 73% said yep lets get rid of it. So these 1000 people speak for the whole country I guess. Talk about a lame poll if they want to know how ALL Americans feel have a online poll where millions can vote & state their ideas not just 1000 people. Yet another useless poll wasting every ones time & to try to scare people into something they are trying to sell to the public.

RE: so they ask 1000 people
By HighWing on 6/22/2010 2:28:58 PM , Rating: 2
That is exactly what I was thinking.

Google lists the population of the USA currently at 307,006,550 people. How can 1,000 people even begin to be a representation of that total! How can you even take their numbers seriously with such a small sample size when you consider that 1,000 people could easily be living in just a few square blocks of any major US city!

RE: so they ask 1000 people
By Solandri on 6/22/2010 3:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
Statistically, a sample size of 1000 gives you a 4% margin of error with a 99% confidence interval, That makes you could poll 1000 random people a hundred times, and 99 of those times the % you get will be within 4% of what you'd get if you sampled all 300 million people in the U.S.

The polling methodology is statistically valid. It's the question which is flawed. If you ask 1000 people, "would you like a pizza for dinner?", I'm sure 75% or more will answer yes. But if you ask, "would you like to pay $20 for a pizza for dinner?", the answer is going to be a lot lower. You can't ask a poll question which only gives the positive outcomes of a choice. The question has to list the positive and negative outcomes before people can make an informed decision.

RE: so they ask 1000 people
By rocky12345 on 6/22/2010 7:12:28 PM , Rating: 2
that is both partly true it also depends who you ask meaning if you ask most people that live is Texas you would get probably 70% to 80% of the people saying they want to keep fossel fuels Im just saying lol.

As another pointed out if also depends on how you ask the question more. I for one do not think these new electric cars are the answer all they are is a patch to the bigger problem. They use parts built by plants that use the same type of equipment to build them as a regular car or truck. BUt now you take into effect that you loads these new electric cars up with a few hundred pounds of batt's & it makes matters worse than a car that is powered by gas. Yes in the short term it is cleaner but in the long run our landfills are going to be filled with dangerous batt's that make our soil toxic. Just looking at the long term not a quick fix.

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