Americans divided on Gulf offshore drilling-Gallup

WASHINGTON, Aug 18 (BestGrowthStock) – Americans are almost equally
divided on whether the Obama Administration should lift the
moratorium on offshore oil drilling and on the possibility of
BP returning to explore in the area of its massive spill,
according to a new Gallup poll.

But Americans continue to disapprove of the way both BP Plc
(BP.L: ) (BP.N: ) and President Barack Obama have handled the
blowout of the well that spewed millions of gallons of oil into
the Gulf of Mexico before being capped in July.

The Gallup poll showed that 47 percent of American adults
are in favor of lifting the moratorium on deepwater drilling
imposed after BP’s blow in April while 46 percent said the ban
should stay.

Along the party lines, 64 percent Democrats and 48 percent
of independents called on the White House to keep the ban in
place. The majority of Republicans, 66 percent, said the
moratorium should be repealed.

The nation was similarly split over allowing BP to drill in
the Gulf again, with 49 percent saying they wouldn’t mind if BP
set up an operation in the same area and 46 percent against
it.

The new poll also showed disapproval of Obama’s handling of
the spill is unchanged since June, hanging at 48 percent, while
BP’s disapproval slid from 76 percent to 64 percent.

Oil companies and lawmakers from Louisiana have been
lobbying for an end to the ban, saying the moratorium is
costing jobs and could hurt crude production in the years
ahead.

BP has said no oil has been leaking from the blown-out
Macondo well since it was capped on July 15. The company
continues construction of a relief well to completely plug the
gusher.

For the survey, Gallup polled 1,074 U.S. adults by
telephone in all U.S. states on Aug. 14-15. The results have a
margin of error of four percentage points.
(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Americans divided on Gulf offshore drilling-Gallup