Polling the Pump

76% of voters think higher taxes on energy industry could equal higher retail prices

WASHINGTON -- A total of 76% of voters nationwide believe that raising taxes on the energy industry could cost them more at the gas station. The sentiment was echoed across political, gender, age, racial, income, educational and ideological lines according to a new "What America is Thinking on Energy Issues" poll released Tuesday, conducted for the American Petroleum Institute (API) by Harris Interactive.

"Voters understand that raising taxes is not a solution for high gasoline prices," said API president and CEO Jack Gerard. "We should instead be encouraging more safe and responsible domestic energy production to help bring more crude oil to American consumers. A true all-of-the-above energy strategy would include greater access to areas that are currently off limits, a regulatory and permitting process that supported reasonable timelines for development, and immediate approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring more Canadian oil to U.S. refineries. This would send a positive signal to the market and could help put downward pressure on prices."

Large majorities of voters also believe that more U.S. oil and natural gas development could reduce gasoline prices (81%), lead to more American jobs (90%) and enhance America's energy security (84%), according to API. A majority (64%) believe that some in Washington are intentionally delaying domestic oil and natural gas development, potentially hurting the economy and leading to higher energy costs for consumers.

"Suggestions that the U.S. has meager domestic energy resources, or lacks the ability to safely produce greater amounts of oil and natural gas are wrong," said Gerard. "The United States is the world's largest producer of natural gas and third largest producer of oil. It has very substantial resources of both in part because of technological progress in offshore development and in the development of shale oil and natural gas onshore."

The study was conducted March 9th through March 13 by telephone by Harris Interactive on behalf of the API among 1,009 registered U.S. voters, with a sampling error of +/- 3%.

Click here to view the questions.

Meanwhile, during a conference call, Gerard announced a new campaign to clarify the facts about gasoline prices and help bring changes in energy policy that could create jobs and put downward pressure on prices. The campaign features a new website, http://gaspricesexplained.org, and includes new advertising (click here).

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