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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Support for Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling among the California Public


This report describes Californians’ opinions about offshore oil and gas development. The report begins by describing the trends in support for offshore drilling since 1977. It then focuses on explaining the surge of support for offshore oil drilling that accompanied the rapid increase in gasoline prices in 2000 and 2001. In this report, we present data from a series of public opinion polls of Californians, which were conducted between 1977 and 2001. The surveys were conducted by the Field Institute, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit public opinion research organization established by the Field Research Corporation. The samples were representative cross-sections of California adults with sample sizes ranging from 485 to 1,034 (See the data appendix for details). We should also note that this study updates some of the information published in a previous MMS report, Trends in Public Opinion on Offshore Oil Development in California (Smith 1995), and in the recently published book, Energy, the Environment, and Public Opinion (Smith 2002).

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