WASHINGTON, May 4 (UPI) -- Most Americans support more offshore drilling in the United States as high gasoline prices cut into their budgets, a recent survey indicated.
Washington last year lifted a moratorium on offshore drilling about six months after the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. Several major energy companies were awarded licenses to start working in the gulf this year.
A survey by cable news network CNN found 69 percent of the 824 adults interviewed in April said they supported more offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. The poll had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said two measures pending in the House of Representatives would require the government to issue more offshore leases.
"The new House majority is listening and will continue working to boost American energy production to address the economic burden weighing on American families and small businesses and help create more American jobs," a statement posted on his Web site said.
Gasoline prices in most U.S. markets have topped $4 per gallon in part because of oil supply concerns stemming from the conflict in Libya, one of Africa's top oil producers.
Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, told the Platts news service last week that exploration off the U.S. coast wouldn't do much to ease gasoline prices, however.