U.S. natural gas exports have garnered the support of a majority of Americans, according to a recent poll released May 21 by the American Petroleum Institute.
The survey found that 71% of respondents said exporting domestic gas would help create U.S. jobs and 66% agreed that exporting gas would be good for the nation’s economy. The telephone poll of 1,006 registered U.S. voters also found that 63% of respondents said more gas exports would help reduce the nation’s trade deficit and that 64% agreed that gas exports would increase U.S. energy security.
The responses did not differ widely among Republican, Democratic and independent poll respondents, with at most a 5-percentage-point spread on any given question. Republicans fairly consistently offered the highest percentage of positive responses, although independent poll respondents were most likely to agree that exporting natural gas helps keep energy dollars here in the U.S. rather than being sent to other regions of the world.
“Industry advancements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have led to a dramatic increase in the estimated recoverable shale gas resources here in the U.S.,” API Chief Economist John Felmy said in a statement. “The American people get it. The U.S. can be a global energy superpower as long as our leaders pursue smart energy policy.”
Further, 62% of poll respondents said they were at least somewhat familiar with the fact that the U.S. is now the No. 1 producer of gas in the world and that the country has a roughly 100-year supply of gas.
On the other side of the issue, however, environmental groups have increased their efforts to slow the movement towards exporting gas.
“Exporting LNG will lead to more drilling — and more drilling means more fracking, more air and water pollution, and more climate-fueled weather disasters,” The Sierra Club said, following U.S. Department of Energy’s second approval of LNG exports to non-free-trade-agreement countries.
The API study was conducted May 10-15 by Harris Interactive on behalf of the API and has a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, the news release said.