The shifting political sands of energy

One’s antenna always should go up when a special interest group releases a poll that shows a result favorable to the special interest group. But a poll is a poll and today’s comes from the American Petroleum Institute which reports its poll finds 58% of Minnesotans support “increased access” to oil and gas reserves (i.e. ANWR and coastal drilling). Twenty-percent of those people only somewhat support the idea.

Ninety-four percent of those surveyed are “concerned” about the price of gas. Five percent “aren’t concerned at all.”

The results are pretty much the same as a survey Quinnipiac took in Minnesota last month. In that survey, 59 percent of those surveyed said they support drilling for oil off the coasts. Half of those who said they supported drilling, said they have always held that view; that’s a sign of the shifting political sand on the issue.

But in that same survey, 61 percent of those surveyed said they’d rather have politicians focus on alternative forms of energy, than drilling for oil.

  • Hey, API!


    Sales of largely renewable E85 are up +13% in Minnesota this year, even as gasoline sales decline — leading to lower prices at the pump, less pollution, etc.

  • Drill THIS, rather…

    Darn your ancient comment software, Collins.

    Tell your bosses at MPR to pony up some cash for News Cut 2.0!!!

  • brian

    API’s response: That’s great! But why not drill too?

    I think calling E85 “largely renewable” is a pretty big overstatement.

  • brian

    But I guess that isn’t really what the post is about.

  • Nancy Stier

    If there were the possibility of oil under the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, would you be in favor of drilling to yield oil 10 years from now?

    Nancy Stier

  • GregS


    I hope you are not attempting to compare ANWR with the BWCA. There is no comparison whatsoever.

    The first difference is size. The BWCA is a small part of Minnesota, ANWR is larger than Minnesota.

    The second difference is geography.

    The section of ANWR where drilling is proposed is nothing more than a vast flat white parking lot for 9 months of the year. The other three months, it’s a vast flat green sponge.

    By the way, there already is oil extraction in ANWR. The tribes have oil wells.