57% Favor Use of ‘Fracking’ To Find More U.S. Oil and Gas

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Rasmussen – Despite challenges by the Obama administration and environmental groups, most Americans favor use of the so-called “fracking” process to produce more domestic oil and natural gas.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% of American Adults favor the use of hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and natural gas in shale oil reserves. Just 22% oppose the process, while nearly as many (21%) are unsure about it. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Republicans overwhelming support fracking. Democrats are more evenly divided with 40% in favor and 33% opposed. Those not affiliated with either major party support fracking by a 48% to 28% margin.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of all Americans believe it is at least somewhat likely that the development of shale oil reserves will end U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Thirty percent (30%) view this as unlikely, and 11% are not sure. These findings include 26% who say shale oil production is Very Likely to end that long-standing dependence and just five percent (5%) who say it’s Not At All Likely.

Forty-six percent (46%) of adults believe the United States has enough shale oil reserves to become the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. Twenty-four percent (24%) don’t think that’s true. Thirty percent (30%) aren’t sure.

Voters continue to believe the United States is not doing enough to develop its gas and oil resources and strongly support offshore drilling. Most also still think going ahead with offshore drilling is likely to bring down the price of gasoline at the pump.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on March 22-23, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Most Americans agreed with President Obama a year ago when he called for a major reduction in U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Sixty-three percent (63%) believe that reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil is more important that reducing the price of gasoline.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of investors – and 53% of non-investors – favor the use of fracking to drill for oil and natural gas in shale oil reserves. Majorities of both groups are also confident that development of these reserves would end U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Most investors (53%) believe development of U.S. shale oil reserves would make this country the largest producer of oil and natural gas, but just 36% of non-investors agree.

Republicans are more confident than Democrats and unaffiliated adults that development of domestic shale oil resources will end U.S. dependence on foreign oil and make America the number one producer of gas and oil.

Two-out-of-three Americans (67%) say they are following recent news stories about fracking at least somewhat closely, including 33% who are following Very Closely.

Environmental concerns also continue to drive President Obama’s opposition to the building of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Texas. Most voters still favor building the pipeline and think it will be good for the economy.

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