Most Americans (55%) consider the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to be a major environmental disaster, but a majority (54%) also favors increasing offshore drilling in U.S. waters. In the wake of the spill, however, support for more offshore drilling is down. Fully 68% favored increased drilling in April 2009 and 63% wanted to drill more in February 2010. The drop off in support has come from Democrats and independents; pro-drilling sentiment feel by 13 points among both groups, and is now a minority opinion among Democrats (41%). Republicans, meanwhile, are no less supportive of increased drilling in U.S. waters after the oil spill than they were before it. Two months before the spill, 74% of Republicans favored more offshore drilling. After the spill, 76% wanted more drilling. Among all Americans, oil drilling in U.S. waters remains more popular than promoting nuclear power (45% support this), but is still less popular than more funding for alternative energy (73%) and spending more on mass transit (65%). Read More
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