WEA survey: Voters back US oil, gas development

US voters strongly support domestic oil and gas development and recognize its significant benefits to the general economy, a survey released by the Western Energy Alliance in Denver indicates.

The national telephone survey by Tarrance Group of 1,000 high-performing voters found 87% want domestic production to meet growing energy demand, and 78% support increased US oil and gas development, the Denver-based regional independent producers association said on May 2.

Only 17% of the respondents oppose increased oil and gas development, it continued.

“Despite what critics are saying, voters have a favorable opinion of how oil and natural gas is produced in America,” WEA Pres. Tim Wigley said. “They believe the right amount, or even too many regulations are currently in place and that individual states are best suited to oversee oil and natural gas development.”

Wigley said, “When asked where the priority for energy development should take place, almost one-in-four (24%) chose federal lands over state or private lands.”

The survey also found support for hydraulic fracturing climbs to 71% when the public understands what producers are doing to protect communities, water supplies, and the environment, Wigley said. “That means we have some educating to do,” he observed.

He said 65 WEA members, ranchers, county commissioners, state legislators, regulators, and others will bring the survey’s message to Washington policymakers May 7-8.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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