Poll: 73% of Americans See an Oil and Gas Future, Majority Trust Private Sector over Feds to Solve Environmental Challenges

Pump jacks are seen at dawn in an oil field over the Monterey Shale formation where gas and oil extraction using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is on the verge of a boom on March 24, 2014 near Lost Hills, California. Critics of fracking in California cite concerns over water usage …
David McNew/Getty Images

As President Joe Biden holds a two-day climate change summit with world leaders and vows to put the radical New Green Deal in place, the American people have another view about what should be done to meet environmental challenges.

The American Petroleum Institute, a trade group that advocates for the oil and natural gas industry and its stakeholders, wrote about a Morning Consult poll that shows that a vast majority of people see fossil fuels as the future — 73 percent believe natural gas and oil will be part of the energy landscape for decades to come and should be included in the country’s energy policies. 

Majorities of Democrats, Independents and Republicans agree, according to the poll.

Other poll findings include:

  • 59 percent believe the world will use more energy in 2050 than it does now. Majorities of Democrats, Independents and Republicans believe more energy will be needed to heat and cool buildings, run electrical appliances, travel, grow crops and more.
  • 55 percent believe private-sector scientists and experts can do better than the federal government solving environmental problems. Only 22 percent of respondents believe the government will do a better job than the private sector.

The API report continued:

Again, these solid, bipartisan views should guide the national public policy debate. We believe the poll reflects the way Americans value our country’s modern standard of living, a growing economy, expanding opportunity and keeping the nation’s energy security strong.

All of the above are supported by reliable, affordable natural gas and oil, which supply nearly 70% of the energy Americans use every day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Safely and responsibly providing that energy is our industry’s No. 1 task.

To ensure safe and responsible development, API recently released its Climate Action Framework, a plan to meet the challenge of meeting the world’s growing need for energy while also advancing a lower-carbon future. It’s a plan of action to accelerate the technologies and innovation that support global leaders’ goal of reduced emissions across the broader economy, including those associated with energy production, transportation and use by consumers.

The API report also call for further mitigating emissions from operations, including direct regulation of methane from new and existing sources. It supports an economy-wide, transparent government carbon price policy and builds on industry’s advancing cleaner fuels to provide consumers with lower-carbon energy options. 

The Morning Consult poll was conducted on behalf of API between April 12-14, 2021, with a national sample of 1,991 registered voters. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

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