Florida’s voters strongly favor offshore drilling, poll shows
WASHINGTON -- Sixty-four percent of voters in Florida support offshore drilling for domestic oil and natural gas resources, according to a new poll conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Petroleum Institute' s “What America is Thinking on Energy Issues” series.
This support bridged party lines, with clear majorities of Republicans (89 percent), Democrats (55 percent) and Independents (57 percent) all in favor of offshore drilling.
“Floridians and residents of other coastal states are in the same boat in support of offshore drilling,” said Dave Mica, executive director of the Florida Petroleum Council. “We can create good-paying jobs and strengthen our local economy by allowing more oil and natural gas production here in the Sunshine State. As Governor Scott just announced in Daytona Beach, an oil and gas technology firm will add 100 jobs in our state to support exploration and production in other states. The multiplier effect for high tech and engineering jobs will be tremendous if additional access to exploration is granted in Florida both onshore and offshore.”
In Florida, 87 percent of voters also say producing more oil and natural gas here at home is important. Again, there was broad agreement between Republicans (92 percent), Democrats (86 percent) and Independents (81 percent).
The Obama administration will soon begin work on its next five-year offshore leasing plan, in which areas of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and the eastern Gulf of Mexico could be included for oil and natural gas leasing. Early next year, the administration is also expected to decide whether to permit seismic surveys in the Atlantic from Delaware to northern Florida for the first time in 30 years.
Seismic surveys, which have been used safely around the world for decades, are the most accurate method available to prospect for oil and natural gas reserves offshore apart from drilling. More accurate survey data makes offshore energy production safer and more efficient by reducing its environmental footprint. Technological advances and data collection improvements since seismic surveys were last conducted in the U.S. Atlantic OCS have rendered old resource estimates obsolete.