New research by the influential pollster Joel Benenson, who was the key strategist for Barack Obama during the 2008 election, shows that in the aftermath of the Gulf oil disaster, American voters “overwhelming support a comprehensive clean energy bill.”
Nearly two thirds of Americans – some 61% of voters – now support a bill “that will limit pollution, invest in domestic energy sources and encourage companies to use and develop clean energy.”
The Bill would do this “in part by charging energy companies for carbon pollution in electricity or fuels like oil.”
Only 31 per cent say they would not vote in favour.
Interestingly when asked who they blame for their dependence on oil, voters were more likely to blame Washington politicians who are protecting special interests that fund their campaigns (33%) than big oil companies and lobbyists trying to protect their profits (27%).
Over half Americans 54% would be more likely to re-elect their Senator if he or she voted for the bill, with 30% less likely to re-elect.
The poll comes as the blame game into the spill moves to Washington.
The three companies responsible for the Gulf of Mexico spill face a grilling from US lawmakers today.
Lamar McKay, president of BP America Inc, Steven Newman, president of Transocean Ltd and Tim Probert, a senior executive at Halliburton Co, will face intense questioning before two Senate committees.
And based on written testimonies, the three plan to blame each other. BP blames the rig’s owner, Transocean who in turn blames the rig’s operator, BP as well as its contractor Halliburton, whose concrete plug failed.
Big Oil’s appearance comes as BP has finally admitted that it actually has no idea how much oil is leaking. Kent Wells, senior vice-president in BP’s exploration and production business, said: “There is no way to measure it [the flow].”
The Senators need to get tough with Big Oil.
They should read another part of the poll where nearly sixty per cent of voters agree with the statement:
“Now is the time for Senators to take action. Oil companies and lobbyists have fought energy reform for decades to protect their profits. Our dependence on oil hurts our economy, helps our enemies and puts our security at risk. It’s time to put America back in control – with clean energy that’s made in America and works for America.”