CLEVELAND, July 22 (UPI) -- Though most would-be voters back a strong U.S. energy sector, a survey finds a hawkish oil and gas policy is backed more by those considered Republicans.
A survey published by the American Petroleum Institute finds 86 percent of voters likely to side with the Republican Party support a presidential candidate backing increased oil and gas production, against 57 percent for those describing themselves as Democrats.
In his prepared remarks, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said excessive industry regulations were dimming job prospects and costing the country as much as $2 trillion per year in lost revenue.
"We are going to lift the restrictions on the production of American energy," he said in his prepared remarks Thursday night in Cleveland. "This will produce more than $20 trillion in job creating economic activity over the next four decades."
A survey last week of the U.S. economy by the International Monetary Fund finds low crude oil prices are contributing to a contraction in energy sector investments, which may be in part behind some economic pressures on oil and gas states like Texas, North Dakota and Alaska. The IMF found, however, that disposable income was growing at a rate of 3 percent and the U.S. economy is in its seventh straight year of expansion.
Jack Gerard, president of the API, said it's the U.S. energy sector that was protecting the economy from weakness elsewhere in the global market.
"Increasing the production of our nation's oil and natural gas resources is vital to our nation's economic and national security and that of our allies," he said in a statement.
On the environment, the API's survey found 94 percent of would-be voters who told pollsters they align with Democratic principles felt it was important for the United States to compete with other major economies when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases, against 65 percent of potential Republican voters.
The Democratic nominating convention gets underway next week in Philadelphia.