WSJ cites Field Poll survey, ignores leading question on offshore drilling

››› ››› MARK BOCHKIS

In an article citing the newly released Field Poll, The Wall Street Journal reported that "43% of Californians support the idea of drilling for oil or natural gas along the state's coast, compared with 51% who oppose it," without noting that the poll question included the false suggestion that "drill[ing] more oil and gas wells in state tidelands" would in fact "deal with the rising cost of energy" in the near future.

In a July 17 article (subscription required) citing a newly released Field Poll survey, The Wall Street Journal reported that "43% of Californians support the idea of drilling for oil or natural gas along the state's coast, compared with 51% who oppose it." But the Journal did not point out that the poll question included the false suggestion that "drill[ing] more oil and gas wells in state tidelands" would in fact "deal with the rising cost of energy" in the near future. As Media Matters for America previously documented, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) considered in its Annual Energy Outlook 2007 report the likely effects of allowing the congressional and executive moratoriums on certain offshore drilling to expire in 2012 and stated that "access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. Leasing would begin no sooner than 2012, and production would not be expected to start before 2017."

From the July 17 Wall Street Journal article:

With gas prices rising, California residents are softening their long-held opposition to offshore drilling, a new opinion poll suggests.

The shift comes as Congress and the Bush administration are escalating a battle over whether to end a two-decade federal ban on drilling off the coasts of California, Florida and the Eastern seaboard.

A new Field Poll survey to be released Thursday shows that 43% of Californians support the idea of drilling for oil or natural gas along the state's coast, compared with 51% who oppose it. In the last Field Poll survey on the topic, in 2005, 39% supported such drilling, compared with 56% in opposition. The majority of Californians have opposed the drilling in the poll since 1984.

From the Field Poll, released July 17:

I am going to read some proposals that have been made that attempt to deal with the rising cost of energy. For each please tell me whether you agree or disagree. (ITEMS READ IN RANDOM ORDER, ASKING:) Do you agree or disagree? (SEE RELEASE FOR STATEMENT READ)

Posted In
Economy, Environment & Science, Drilling, Energy
Network/Outlet
Wall Street Journal
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Gas Prices
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