WASHINGTON, July 2 (UPI) -- As gas prices rise more U.S. residents are giving higher priority to energy exploration than conservation measures, an opinion poll indicates.
The latest nationwide survey reported by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press also finds that half of the respondents now support drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, up from 42 percent in February, 2008. The findings came from a poll conducted June 18-29, 2008 among 2,004 adults.
Changing attitudes toward energy were most demonstrated in results showing nearly half (47 percent) of Americans asked now rate energy exploration as the more important priority, up from 35 percent in February. The proportion saying it is more important to increase energy conservation and regulation has declined by 10 points, from 55 percent to 45 percent.
Previous surveys dating to 2001 had shown majorities or pluralities consistently saying that greater energy conservation and regulation on energy use and prices was more important than increased energy exploration.