ATLANTA – Most Georgians support the United States developing its own domestic sources of energy rather than relying on other regions of the world, according to a poll released Thursday.
The online survey of a representative cross-section of registered voters conducted March 1-6 by the polling firm Morning Consult found 90% in favor of the U.S. stepping up energy production. The support was split almost evenly between Republicans and Democrats.
An even larger majority – 92% of those surveyed – said the current situation in Europe shows what can happen when nations depend on energy production from foreign sources that have their own agendas. Some European nations have been hampered in their response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine by their dependence on Russian oil.
“Given the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the rising cost of energy both at home and abroad, there is no question that access to secure, reliable and affordable energy is top of mind for voters in Georgia,” said David McGowan, Southeast Region director of the American Petroleum Institute (API), which represents the oil and gas industries and commissioned the poll.
“Now is the time for this administration to advance policies that incentivize U.S. production and send a clear message that America is open to energy investment.”
Frank Macchiarola, the API’s senior vice president of policy, said U.S. oil production began losing ground last year when President Joe Biden banned new leases for drilling on federal lands.
“I’d like to see the administration … utilize more of the energy resources we have,” Macchiarola said. “There’s always going to be a need to get energy from some countries. The question is whether we’re going to be overly reliant on certain places.”
Biden banned U.S. imports of Russian oil last week in response to its attack on Ukraine. While that move has been widely supported, the administration has come in for criticism for reaching out to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to explore replacing Russian oil.
“[The] Keystone XL [pipeline] would deliver 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada,” Macchiarola said. “Now, we’re looking to hostile regions to get energy.”
According to the API Georgia poll, 87% of respondents believe more domestic production of oil and natural gas could help lower energy costs, while 86% said expanding production would help make the U.S. and America’s allies more secure against the actions of other countries such as Russia.
The poll’s margin of error was plus-or-minus 4%.
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.