North Carolina residents are most ready to blame oil companies and foreign countries for high gas prices.
An Elon University Poll asked people to rank on a scale of 1 to 5 how much blame oil companies, oil-producing countries overseas and others deserve for rising prices. Seventy-one percent ranked the oil companies at either 4 or 5, with 58 percent doing the same for foreign oil-producing companies.
Asked to rank other possible reasons for high gas prices on the same scale:
- 42 percent blamed the policies of the Obama administration.
- 41 percent blamed the policies of Democrats in the U.S. Congress.
- 40 percent blamed the driving habits ofAmerican consumers.
- 34 percent blamed the policies of Republicans in the U.S. Congress.
- 34 percent blamed environmental regulations.
The poll surveyed respondents about potential energy sources and whether the United States should rely on them more or less to meet future energy needs:
- 85 percent favored more use of solar power; 13 percent favored less use.
- 80 percent favored more use of wind power; 16 percent favored less use.
- 70 percent favored more use of natural gas; 22 percent favored less use.
- 42 percent favored more use of nuclear power; 50 percent favored less use.
- 30 percent favored more use of coal; 63 percent favored less use.
- 25 percent favored more use of oil; 72 percent favored less use.
The poll asked about hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a process in which high-pressure water is forced into the ground to extract natural gas.
Fifty-seven percent said they don't know enough to either support or oppose obtaining natural gas that way in North Carolina. Twenty-two percent said they oppose the practice here and 21 percent support it.
Fracking is banned in North Carolina, though the General Assembly is considering a report by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources that says the practice could be conducted safely if the right precautions are in place.
The poll was taken last week, with results relating to gas prices and energy use released Tuesday. It surveyed 534 North Carolina residents and has a margin of error of 4.24 percentage points.
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