Poll Finds 65 Percent of Texas Voters Still Support Off-Shore Drilling

By Nick Dean | May 24, 2010 | 10:39 PM EDT

Workers line up to start the day to help clean up the oil spill, in Venice, La., Tuesday, May 4, 2010.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(CNSNews.com) – Nearly two-thirds of all Texans believe off-shore drilling should continue, despite the Gulf oil spill, according to a new poll.
A telephone survey conducted May 13 by Rasmussen asked 500 likely Texas voters: “Should off-shore drilling be allowed?” Sixty-five (65) percent of Texans said it should be allowed, down 12 points from April, when BP's Deepwater Horizon platform collapsed. 21 percent said offshore drilling should not be allowed and 15 percent of those surveyed were unsure.
The poll places Texas voters in line with the national average of 64 percent of Americans who support offshore drilling, according to the Rasmussen Report.
The survey also found that 68 percent of Texas voters not affiliated with either political party favor tapping oil and natural gas that lies beneath the ocean.
President Barack Obama lifted a ban on offshore drilling nearly two months ago when he announced plans to begin limited offshore drilling.
“The answer is not drilling everywhere all the time. But the answer is not, also, for us to ignore the fact that we are going to need vital energy sources to maintain our economic growth,” Obama said at Andrews Air Force Base on March 31.
“We’re announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration, but in ways that balance the need to harness domestic energy resources and the need to protect America’s natural resources.”
More than 3 weeks later, on April 20, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers. Since then, oil has been spilling into the Gulf of Mexico and British Petroleum officials are attempting to contain the oil spewing 5,000 feet below the gulf’s surface.
According to a Monday press release from BP, the company is collecting oil from the spill with a riser insertion tube tool. From May 17-23, the tube has collected anywhere from 1,360 barrels of oil per day to 3,000 barrels of oil per day.
So far, the oil spill and the company’s response has cost BP $760 million.
The Rasmussen Report was conducted on May 13 and the survey has a margin of sampling error of plus-or-minus 4.5 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.