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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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RE: Only 73%?
By HotFoot on 6/22/2010 10:38:23 AM , Rating: 2
Since the 80s, our societies have embraced the idea of buying as much as possible from overseas, because, as consumers, we've decided we can't afford to pay our neighbours to make the goods and services we want. Since that time, standards of living and real income for the average household have stagnated, while executive compensation and government deficits have ballooned out of all proportion.

If you can't afford to pay your neighbour a living wage for the goods or services you want, then you can't really afford it. Buying all the cheap Asian goods (and foreign oil, which is perhaps another matter) is bleeding the economy dry, and it will be bone-dry by the time the Asian economies catch up and begin to match our standards of living and costs of labour.

RE: Only 73%?
By mdogs444 on 6/22/2010 10:58:40 AM , Rating: 3
Since the 80s, our societies have embraced the idea of buying as much as possible from overseas, because, as consumers, we've decided we can't afford to pay our neighbours to make the goods and services we want.

Ok, that is very nice spin, but not entirely accurate.

First off, its not the average consumer who decided that they cannot afford to pay for our "neighbors". Its other countries are finding ways to produce good cheaper than we can, thus making their products more attractive. It's nothing against the actual workers themselves, but in certain cases, we see what's going on in these work places and we decide that its not worth it to us.

For example, someone goes to buy a car and see two cars priced relatively similar - a Toyota and a Chevy . If the Honda is offering more value at the same price, or the same value at a lower price - the choice is pretty clear. If you're going to ask me to pay an additional $2,000 for a car, not because its better, but because the labor costs are more expensive....good luck with that. Granted, Toyota may not be the best example right now, but you get the point.

The real fact is that our government including everyone from Congress writing new tax laws, to ever increasing environmental policy inflicted on these businesses, makes producing a product more expensive. When the average person goes to the store, he/she wants to get as much as they can for their money. We all know there is a fine line between cheaply made junk, and paying more money just because of where its produced.

Blaming it on not wanting to take care of your neighbors isn't true at all, and that wreaks of a Union talking point. The only real way to stop what you claim is "bleeding us dry", is to relax all the cost increasing restrictions put on companies - like the newly proposed Cap & Tax, and let companies try to make things cheaper and more efficiently without having to deal with regulation after regulation, when our competition is not playing by the same rules.

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