Coloradans Support Drilling Oversight
Majority of Colorado Voters Want Energy Companies Held Accountable
The results of a National Wildlife Federation survey show that more than 60 percent of Colorado registered voters support greater oversight of oil and gas drilling in the state. A significant majority of respondents also said that energy companies should be held accountable by making safe drilling practices mandatory.
The need for stronger oversight in energy development was a theme throughout the survey results – regardless of the respondents’ gender, location or party affiliation.
Based on the findings, it’s clear that Coloradans support requiring independent review of drilling plans and using the best available technology – even if, as industry claims, such requirements could cost jobs, raise prices or slow energy production.
The statewide telephone survey of 462 registered voters in Colorado was conducted between August 30 and September 2, 2010, by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) and Public Opinion Strategies.
Key specific finding of the survey include the following:
- Coloradans support greater oversight and accountability over oil and gas drilling in the state.
- Support for higher standards cuts across almost all segments of the Colorado electorate.
- Two-thirds of respondents think we should require oil and gas companies to use the latest technologies for safer drilling.
“The survey results are encouraging to the National Wildlife Federation and our four million members and supporters,” said John Gale, NWF’s Colorado regional representative. “We recognize the important role energy plays in our daily lives. But we want energy development on our Western public lands to be done thoughtfully, in a way that makes fish, wildlife and water a priority – not an afterthought.”
Gale said NWF applauds Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s onshore oil and gas leasing policies, which encourage stronger scientific review before development decisions are made. Once development plans are approved, he noted, the focus needs to be on ensuring that drilling won’t adversely affect fish and wildlife habitat and water quality.
“We agree with the voters of Colorado – and believe there are a number of drilling practices and technologies that should be required to dramatically reduce the impact of energy development,” Gale said. “Too often we’ve seen decisions about whether or not to use these best practices left to the companies’ discretion instead of to the agencies responsible for managing the land.”