WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) -- In the wake of the BP disaster, only 25 percent of Americans back more offshore oil drilling, and most blame federal regulators for the spill, a poll indicates.
In an attempt to meet energy needs, the White House lifted the moratorium on drilling in U.S. coastal waters before the spill, but now most Americans say they want fewer wells (31 percent) or the amount of wells kept at the current level (41 percent), a new Washington Post-ABC News poll released Wednesday indicated.
During a Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee hearing, panel Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said the Gulf of Mexico oil spill underscored a failure on the part of BP and the federal government.
"It's clear that prior to the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig neither the companies involved nor the government adequately appreciated or prepared for the risks involved in a deep water drilling operation of this type," Bingaman said.
"The results of that failure to properly assess and prepare for risks have been disastrous. Lives have been lost. The livelihood and way of life of many Gulf residents have been interrupted and in some cases destroyed. The environmental damage has been immense."
The poll indicated support for drilling in general has slipped from 64 percent last August to 52 percent and about 49 percent say they see the spill in the Gulf as a broader problem with drilling.
The Post-ABC poll was conducted June 3-6, among a random national sample of 1,004 adults. Interviews were conducted on conventional and cellular telephone, and the results from the full poll have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.