One Year After the BP Oil Spill, Americans Are Ready to Drill

April 22, 2011, 8:00 PM GMT+0

One year after the BP Gulf Oil spill, a majority of Americans favor increasing offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, 57% favor more drilling, while 30% oppose that. 

Support is lower than it was just over a year ago, before the spill. Then, 62% were in favor. Support dropped as low as 44% last June.

Today the spill is looked on more as an unusual accident than as the inevitable result of the practice of offshore drilling. 64% view the 2010 accident as something they do not expect to see often in the future. 

More than half the public gives BP only a fair or poor rating when it comes to handling the cleanup of the spill, and about the same number say that about the U.S. government’s response. But more than two-thirds say they have seen at least some progress in cleaning up the Gulf (30% see a lot of progress). Just 15% see little or no improvement. 

60% would issue permits to oil companies that meet new safety standards — though less than half would issue a permit to BP. Only 17% would issue no permits; slightly more aren’t sure. 

Photo source: flickr ( lagohsep )

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