A recent Civitas poll finds that 56 percent of North Carolina voters support drilling off the state’s coast for oil and natural gas. Thirty-seven percent were opposed and 7 percent had no opinion.
Support for oil exploration off the coast has remained consistently strong in Civitas polling results. The May 2009 poll found 71 percent of voters in support of offshore oil exploration; though voters are clear that the oil rigs should be out of sight from the shoreline.
The numbers climb higher to 74 percent in support of drilling if voters find out that the deposits are mainly cleaner, safer natural gas which does not cause the environmental or safety problems of oil if there is a leak or spill.
And despite the recent catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf, only 12 percent of voters’ opinions changed in saying they supported it before the spill but now oppose it. Fifty-seven percent continue to support drilling for oil and natural gas even as the cleanup effort continues.
A new oil rig off the coast of North Carolina may still be a ways off, however, as state legislators are considering a bill that would adjust the listed pros and cons of drilling submitted by a legislative committee in 2009. The group will meet with the Governor on Thursday, June 3 to discuss offshore drilling and its effects on the state.
North Carolina voters understand the benefits that offshore drilling would have on the state’s economy which is currently struggling with record unemployment.
Full poll results and crosstabs here