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Poll: 65 percent of Virginia voters support producing offshore oil and natural gas resources

Reid Porter | | 202.682.8114

Richmond, Va., March 2, 2016 — Sixty-five percent of Virginia voters, including 85 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of Independents and 56 percent of Democrats, support offshore development of U.S. oil and natural gas resources, according to a new poll released today by the Virginia Petroleum Council (VPC), conducted on its behalf by Harris Poll. As candidates look towards the general election, 90 percent of Virginia voters agree that energy is an important issue when it comes to the priorities the federal government should be focusing on.

"A strong bipartisan majority of voters in Virginia continue to support producing more domestic energy and creating more jobs in the state," said VPC Executive Director Miles Morin. “Cutting-edge technologies and a core value of safety have helped make the U.S. the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world while protecting the environment and creating jobs in Virginia.”

The statewide telephone poll of 630 Virginia registered voters also found that:

  • 88 percent agree that increased production of oil and natural gas could lead to more jobs in the U.S.
  • 83 percent agree that producing more domestic oil and natural gas could help lower energy costs for U.S. consumers.
  • 79 percent agree that producing more domestic oil and natural gas could benefit federal and state budgets through lease payments, royalty fees and other sources of revenue.
  • 79 percent agree that producing more domestic oil and natural gas could help strengthen America’s national security by lessening the negative impacts of political instability occurring in other parts of the world.

“With the existing port, infrastructure, and wide variety of maritime industries like shipbuilding and engineering, Hampton Roads can help strengthen our national security and fuel the energy our nation demands,” said Morin. “The military has considerable input into areas in the Atlantic that can be explored and, given that the proposed area for development is well past the horizon at 50 miles, offshore platforms would not be visible from land.”

This week, the VPC also launched a new advertising campaign to promote bringing safe and responsible energy development and well-paying jobs home to Virginia.

The VPC is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 650 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.


The study was conducted January 22 – February 1, 2016 by telephone on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute among 630 registered voters in Virginia, with a sampling error of +/- 3.9%. A full methodology is available upon request. 

"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.


What America is Thinking on Energy Issues - Virginia (February 2016)

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