The Mark UP

Voters Prefer Candidates Who Support Clean Energy, Not More Drilling, Poll Finds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NRDC Action Fund press contact: Matt Howes, mhowes@nrdc.org; 202-289-2405

Voters Prefer Candidates Who Support Clean Energy, Not More Drilling, Poll Finds
In NRDC Action Fund Poll, Americans Also Say They Don’t Like Candidates Who Take Big Oil Money

WASHINGTON (May 4, 2011) — As Congress prepares to consider legislation that would dramatically increase offshore drilling while relaxing safety precautions, a new poll shows that a majority of voters wants something else: Candidates who move the country toward a clean and renewable energy future instead of continuing to keep America handcuffed to Big Oil and more drilling.

Nearly six in 10 Americans (58 percent) in the poll done for NRDC Action Fund said they would choose a candidate who supports moving beyond oil and investing in cleaner technologies like more fuel-efficient cars and renewable energy.

Under the false premise that more drilling tomorrow will significantly lower gas prices, the House is expected to vote soon on three offshore drilling bills, including one that that would mandate drilling off of most of the Atlantic coast as well as in the waters off of Southern California, Alaska and in the Arctic.

Instead of improving safety precautions in the wake of last year’s disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the bills also would make the system for overseeing offshore drilling even weaker than before the BP Deepwater Horizon spill and force the government to sidestep environmental laws to rush drilling permits.

“Members of Congress and future candidates should take note: Voters are more likely to support candidates who favor energy sources that are clean and renewable, not dirty and limited,” said NRDC Action Fund Director Heather Taylor-Miesle. “More drilling doesn’t lower gas prices – it only means more profits for Big Oil, and the American public is clearly sick of that.”

The poll done by Belden Russonello & Stewart for the NRDC Action Fund also has another message for members of Congress: They should think twice about taking donations from Big Oil. Nearly half (49 percent) said they would be less likely to support the reelection of a member of Congress who took campaign contributions from the oil industry and also voted to increase oil drilling, compared with only 11 percent who said that they would be more likely to vote for someone who took dirty oil money.

The poll of 1,001 adults nationwide was conducted by phone April 12-20, 2011. Margin of sampling error is +/- 3.1 percentage points.

For complete poll results and more details please see http://www.nrdcactionfund.org/AprilPoll.

The NRDC Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that works in communities across the country to safeguard public health by protecting the environment. The NRDC Action Fund is an affiliated but separate organization from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

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