Columbia, S.C., March 2, 2016 — Sixty-seven percent of South Carolina voters, including 83 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of Independents and 54 percent of Democrats, support offshore development of U.S. oil and natural gas resources, according to a new poll released today by the South Carolina Petroleum Council (SCPC). As candidates look towards the general election, 91 percent of South Carolina voters agree that energy is an important issue when it comes to the priorities the federal government should be focusing on.
"A strong bipartisan majority of voters in South Carolina continue to support producing more domestic energy and creating more jobs in the state," said SCPC Executive Director Bonnie Loomis. “Cutting-edge technologies and a core value of safety have helped make the U.S. the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world while protecting the environment and creating jobs in South Carolina.”
The statewide telephone poll of 600 South Carolina registered voters also found that:
- 92 percent agree that increased production of oil and natural gas could lead to more jobs in the U.S.
- 86 percent agree that producing more domestic oil and natural gas could help lower energy costs for U.S. consumers.
- 84 percent agree that producing more domestic oil and natural gas could benefit federal and state budgets through lease payments, royalty fees and other sources of revenue.
- 84 percent agree that producing more domestic oil and natural gas could help strengthen America’s national security by lessening the negative impacts of political instability occurring in other parts of the world.
“South Carolina could still enjoy the low gasoline prices that have been made possible by surging U.S. energy production, even if we don’t join the American energy revolution ourselves. But we’ll be missing out on the potential formore than 35,000 jobs across a variety of industries and strengthening our national security,” said Loomis. “The proposed area for development is well past the horizon at 50 miles offshore so offshore platforms would not be visible from land. South Carolinians, sandlappers, cherish our beautiful coastline and value our tourism and fishing industries.”
This week, the SCPC also launched a new advertising campaign to promote bringing safe and responsible energy development and well-paying jobs home to South Carolina.
The SCPC is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 650 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.
The study was conducted January 22 – January 31, 2016 by telephone on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute among 600 registered voters in South Carolina, with a sampling error of +/- 4%. A full methodology is available upon request.
"What America is Thinking on Energy Issues" is a public opinion series provided by API, offering data to inform policy discussions and ensure policymakers and others know Americans' perspectives on key energy issues.