Wednesday, June 16, 2010

BP could take hit

Post by Elena Fanjul-Debnam

A majority of Americans haven't stopped buying gas from BP. While 38% say they are now less likely to shop at BP, 57% of Americans on our last national poll reported that the oil spill hasn't affected their shopping preferences. According to a story by NPR on Monday, that 38% could be enough to hurt BP franchise owners, who report seeing a drastic drop in sales.

It seems like BP, not the oil and gas industry, is taking the brunt of the hit. Americans have even stronger opinions about off shore drilling than they do about where they buy their gas. A majority of voters support drilling off the coast. They just don't want things to go wrong. On our May national poll, 55% of Americans reaffirmed their support for off shore drilling, while only 30% said they are now opposed.

In our Louisiana poll we found that there was overwhelming support for off shore drilling. This is clearly tied to the role that the oil and gas industry plays in the economy, as it comprises 16% of the state's GDP. In other parts of the country, we begin to wonder why support for off shore drilling remains high. Maybe it is because of a perception that off shore drilling will reduce the cost of gas.

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