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Energy is key issue for Americans: Poll shows 73 percent of voters favor more oil and natural gas development

Washington, D.C., November 8, 2012 – Strong majorities of voters support increased access to domestic oil and natural gas resources, regardless of party affiliation, gender or age, according to a new Harris Interactive poll released by the American Petroleum Institute. 

    “Almost all voters agreed energy issues were important to them, including 90 percent of Democrats and 94 percent of Independents, with 9 out of 10 Republicans saying they were very important,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “Energy was a big winner in this election. The president repeatedly voiced his support for more oil and natural gas as part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy. And clear majorities in our poll say there is a strong tie between domestic energy development and much needed new jobs. They overwhelmingly support more access to U.S. oil and gas resources that policymakers have been keeping off limits.” 

    Sixty-eight percent of voters agreed that increased taxes on oil and natural gas companies hurt everyone because it could drive up energy costs for consumers. The telephone poll of 827 actual voters found strong support (75 percent) for building the Keystone XL pipeline, a level of support that crossed party lines: 60 percent of Democrats supported the Keystone XL pipeline, as did 76 percent of Independents and 92 percent of Republicans. 

    Energy taxes and the Keystone pipeline are expected to be top issues for the next Congress and administration. 

    API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

The study was conducted November 6th, 2012, by telephone by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute among 827 actual voters in the 2012 Presidential election across the country, with a sampling error of +/- 3.5 percent. Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, known widely for the Harris Poll. For more information, visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

"What America is Thinking on Energy Issues" is a public opinion series provided by API, offering data to inform policy discussions and ensure policymakers and others know Americans' perspectives on key energy issues.


  • Economy
  • Jobs
  • Keystone XL